The Big Move…

“The Big Move”… I am so overly, unnecessarily dramatic 😉 But, in all actuality, it was a pretty big move for me. Even though I am very independent and am not one of those people to always need someone around to go shopping with, watch TV with, workout with, etc. etc., I have never lived alone (although for the past year or so, I’ve wanted to! No offense, Danielle or Amy, but at 28 it was just time to have my own place and no roommates), so this was a big step!

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I started my search in May or June (I think), and found my new apartment basically right away. My landlord is awesome and we got along great right from the start, so it just felt right to sign the papers, not to mention it was a super affordable 1-bedroom apartment!

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This pretty much sealed the deal that I made the right choice! I can be won over by wine.

So, Saturday morning, Sue and Al (aka mom and dad) packed up the truck with my couch and other various things I needed from home and came down to help me move.

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It didn’t take Danielle long to figure out what she was going to do to help us

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assume position and start barking orders. Just kidding! She was actually very helpful for the entire day and in no time at all, we had the first load ready

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I breathed a huge sigh of relief when my parents immediately started gushing at my new place. My only issue with the apartment is that it is basement level and although the ground is at a slant and my bedroom has 2 full size windows, I was just having a hard time accepting the fact that I was on ground level. Walking in with my parents and sister and having them all talk about how it didn’t seem like it was basement level, made me feel great (even if they were saying it just to make me feel better).

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Kitchen and living room

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Bedroom- see? It’s bright!

I put mom to work with getting my kitchen in order while I finished bringing in load after load after load of my stuff. Once everything was in from the first load, it was time to pop the bubbly!

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What I really love about my place is the back patio! I can’t wait to have little BBQ’s and little gatherings out there. It didn’t take dad long to break the patio in!

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We finally got lunch around 2 or 3 and I didn’t take a picture because I was way too hungry. Between teaching cardio kickboxing in the morning and doing heavy lifting/moving for another 3+ hours, I needed food in a bad way. Once we finished eating, my sister left to go to a friend’s house and mom, dad and I went to Home Depot and Target.

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Once we got the vast majority of things on my list (at the time… my list seems to continuously grow as the days go on. yikes!), we dropped dad off at my old apartment and mom and I went back to my new apartment to unload some more things. I was obsessed with getting my bathroom set up- weird, right?! I also put together shelves and mom unpacked and set up other random things.

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By 7:15, we were absolutely beat and decided to head back to Somerville for the night (it was easier to stay there since there was more room)… but not without picking up Chinese food for dinner. Yes, you read that correctly: we had Chinese take-out on Saturday night. I haven’t had Chinese food in probably 3 years!! Totally worth it, though… I was famished and it absolutely hit the spot.

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I crashed pretty hard on Saturday night and before I knew it, it was time to get up and start all over again on Sunday! While mom was at church, Dad and I packed up the rest of the things in my apartment: bed, bureau and all my clothes/shoes/food/etc. Gosh, I was dripping in sweat within minutes! Moving is seriously NO JOKE. Great workout!

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It was definitely bittersweet leaving my old apartment knowing that I had everything packed up (ok, almost everything- I realized later that I forgot all of my jackets in the coat closet there, but no biggie since the girls are staying there this year!). But that feeling went away as soon as I had everything in my new apartment and started making it feel more like home.

We broke around 1 to go have a birthday lunch for my parents at Joe’s American Bar and Grill in the North End. The purpose for going there was to have brunch on the water, but long story short, we ended up inside. I’ve always enjoyed the food there even though it’s a chain restaurant, but this past experience was horrible!!! From the food to the service, everything was awful! Well, except for this drink

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Now THAT was good!

After lunch, I was feeling like it was time for some “Monique alone time”, so I sent my parents and my sister off so I could be in my apartment alone to putter and try to organize my life! I washed things that didn’t need to be washed and moved things from one place to the next and then back to the original place. I finally decided it was time to get out and grocery shop and pick up a few more things at TJ Maxx and Target.

My trip to Market Basket was rather large, but I think I spent half what I would’ve spent had I gone elsewhere! I love that store 🙂

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I also bought myself flowers because, well, sometimes you just need flowers 🙂

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Again, I didn’t stop until about 10pm on Sunday, but it was nice knowing that I’d be working from home on Monday (Comcast was coming so I wanted to be around for that!). Besides work on Monday, I was able to get some things done around my apartment, go to BodyPump after work (holy moly… I lifted heavy and was rather sore on Tuesday!! I secretly loved it 😉 ) and then hit up the Christmas Tree Shop for a few things. I also made my first “dinner” at my new place. Nothing fancy, but I’m loving my new pots and pans!

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I made my first commute to work on Tuesday from my new apartment and was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was!! My old commute was a short walk to the bus, a bus ride to the T, taking the T 4 or 5 stops into the city and then walking about 15 minutes to the office. Phew! My new commute is an 8 minute walk to the T, 2 stops into the city and a 12 minute walk to work- amazing!! 🙂

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When I got home, I went for a 3.5 mile run around my new neighborhood. There is a REALLY nice park with all sorts of paved trails a half mile from my house which I see myself taking advantage of during my time here!

By the time I got home from work last night, I was utterly exhausted! I ended up subbing the class before mine and I found myself having no energy to teach which never happens. I took that as a sign and did the low-impact version of the workouts. Thankfully I had leftovers for dinner, otherwise my dinner likely would’ve looked like this:

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My friend, Tim, texted me that and I thought it was perfect timing! Mom, he thought you’d get a kick out of it, too.

Even though I’m not completely settled in, I feel like I’m getting there, bit by bit! Luckily I don’t have any big plans this weekend so I’ll have time to finish up even more!

Questions for you: When is the last time you moved? What’s the first thing you like to set up in your new apartment? How long is your commute to work?

Birthday Celebrations

Ok, ok. I know. You’re probably all sick of hearing about my birthday, but I promise this is it! I want to have this as a reminder of how wonderful my birthday was this year. It was definitely one for the books. So many cards, texts, flowers, emails, Facebook notes… I feel SO blessed and loved. I wish it could be my birthday every day!

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Most of you probably saw how I spent my Saturday, but if you didn’t, go check it out! It was a busy day for sure, but it was fun because I was able to pamper myself a little! Saturday night, some of my closest girlfriends and I got all done up and headed to The Brahmin for dinner before other friends met up for drinking. The girls know me so well because Jessi, Danielle and Amy all got me Prosecco! Amy also got me flowers:)

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We headed to the Brahmin around 7pm so that we could eat and relax and not worry about the ridiculous line that forms there by, like, 9pm. It’s insane!

033The food was really quite tasty and we loved that it was all tapas style since we love sharing food! The waitress brought over shots and I think that’s what got me going to a drunken place I don’t tend to go! Luckily, I remembered dessert! 😉

020I was so happy to have so many friends around to make my birthday so special!

031And, a gym friend even came! Of COURSE we had to bring the guns out… it’s a gym thing.

030Not long after this, it was time for me to go home. Luckily, Rachel was nice enough and got me into a cab safely. THANK YOU, friend! JP sent me this photo the next day and it pretty much sums up the night and how happy I was:

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My parents came into the city on Tuesday for post-birthday celebrations. We totally lucked out and had gorgeous weather. The city was still a little somber after Monday’s Marathon events, and the security/police presence was bigger than I’ve ever seen it, but we still made the best of the day. I loved seeing all the marathon runners wearing their blue jackets. I wanted to run up and hug every one of them.

We opted to stay in the Faneuil Hall and North End part of the city, which was fine by me. We played tourist walking up and down along Quincy Market,

016and decided to have lunch at the Salty Dog. Lunch was delicious (I splurged on a fried catfish sandwich!), the beer (first Sam Summer of the season) was so refreshing, but the company was the best part!

025After lunch, we walked along the water and up the back end of Hanover street. My mom wanted to take some cannoli’s home, so obviously Mike’s Pastry was a necessary stop. I couldn’t believe it-the line was short! This is unheard of at this place. I got a red velvet cupcake and then later stopped and got a gelato. So tasty!

024All that walking around really made us thirsty, so a stop at Bell In Hand was a perfect place to quench our thirst before my parents went to catch their train at North Station.

020I was sad to see them leave, but so thankful that I got to spend such a fun day in the city with them. They are just the cutest little people around!

So, there you have it- my 28th birthday celebrations are FINALLY all documented! If you made it this far, thanks for sticking through this monster post!

Questions for you: What’s the most memorable birthday you’ve had? Do you play tourist in your city?