Drool-Worthy “Must Try” Recipes

Good morning! I realized that my attempts of getting any sort of “link up” post series going have not really worked… To date, I’ve only done 3!

Currently I’m Crushing On…
Currently I’m Crushing on…{Pt 2}
Currently I’m Crushing On… {Pt III}

And, not all of them even have link ups. Fail.

But! Today I have something different for you- a bunch of recipes I want to try and think you might be interested in trying as well. So, I’m a little selfish with this post since I want a way to keep track of all the “must try” recipes I’ve been sending to RM ūüėČ These all seem like quick and easy, light, perfect summer recipes- I hope you’ll try some!

  • Caprese Zoodles– Sherri always posts the most delicious recipes and this one looked to be no exception. I actually made it over the weekend and WOW- so easy and so delicious. RM and I were big fans and, to quote him, “you need to print that so we can add it to the rotation”. Well done, Sherri ūüėČ
  • Kale Pesto Zoodles– Continuing with the “zoodle” theme, this recipe from The Almond Eater looks SO good, as do most of her recipes (I’ve literally tried at least 3 and have sent a handful more to RM to try at some point).
  • Caprese Party Skewers– Stemming off from the Caprese Zoodle dish (can you tell I miss Italy?!), Athena posted a delicious, quick and easy party app. Doesn’t really get much better than tomatoes, mozzarella and basil in the summer, right?!
  • The Best 3 Protein Smoothie Recipes– Confession: I love smoothies but hate to make them. However, these look easy and don’t have a ton of ingredients, so maybe I’ll be motivated to try one?
  • No Added Sugar Banana Bread– These days I RARELY cook with any sort of grain flour (not because I’m against it, but moreso because I’ve found other recipes that use ingredients like almond meal or coconut flour instead, which tends to be a little easier to digest), but this recipe looks like something I would like to try. I’m trying to cut back on sugar where I can, and cooking with naturally sweet bananas is a great way to do that!
  • Best Ever Salsa– I love salsa and this looks and sounds amazing- and easy to whip up!
  • Customizable Nut Butter Protein Balls– What I love about this post is that it gives you freedom to “customize” your nut balls. I love my Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal balls, but am always looking for ways to mix it up and try new ones.
  • Vegan Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars– I’m a big fan of making my own bars, granola, muffins, breads, etc. when I can, but sometimes the ingredients list is just too long and too much of a hassle. Luckily, this one has only 7 ingredients and looks super easy to make!

Your turn! Have you found any good recipes lately? What’s a summer dish you love to make? I’d love for you to link a drool-worthy recipe in the links below- I’m always looking to add to my list!

Nerd Alert: I love book club! <3

My girlfriends and I¬†have always talked about starting a book club, but for one reason¬†or another, nothing ever manifested from those discussions. That is….¬†until about 6 months ago.¬†¬†After too many glasses of wine, we picked our first book and decided to officially start our book club.¬†To be honest, I wasn’t sure how it was going to go; I imagined us reading one book then switching to just a wine club- sounds about right for most book clubs, right? However, I’m pleased to say that we have actually made it quite a serious little book club:¬† we all bring book suggestions with descriptions for the next book, we vote on the¬†next book, pick the next time/date/location for the¬†book club meeting and then we discuss the book we’ve read with actual discussion questions. Granted we always do have a lot of wine and food, but still… Total nerd status, right?!

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Weekending: South End, Southie, Barry’s Bootcamp, Super Bowl

Phew! This past weekend was super busy, but super fun! I know some of you may not like the play by play of the weekend, and sometimes I’m not even sure if I like it, but since I went to some good restaurants and tried a new workout, I figured it was worth sharing!

Friday

I helped my friend Jess with an event at Little Lovage Club, located under Coco Baby in the South End on Friday afternoon. She had a baby animal petting event and I jumped at the chance to help her! Look how stinkin cute these little babes are!

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After the event, we headed over to The Gallows for dinner, which was amazingggg. I love small plates and sharing, so this was a perfect place to go. We got the Braised Beef tacos, Brown Butter Cauliflower and a delicious butternut squash dish. So many interesting flavors that made for a happy little party in my mouth!

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Saturday

After kickboxing, I treated myself to a pedicure. I had no real reason to do this other than the fact I needed to do something for myself that would make me sit and relax… this was certainly something that forced me to do this!

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Side note: don’t wear skinny jeans when getting a pedicure… I never learn.

Saturday night, I headed to the city for dinner. I curled my hair with my straightener on my own for the very first time and I have to say, I was pretty impressed! It was almost faster than just straightening it, so I know once I get better at it, it will definitely be faster. What do you think??

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Apparently everyone else had the idea to go into the city on Saturday night… our night started a little rocky since we couldn’t get in anywhere!

-We tried to go to this new restaurant on Congress Street in the Seaport, but the wait was over 2 hours for a table!!! I was bummed since it looked like an amazing restaurant and I loved the d√©cor, but hopefully we’ll make it back there.

-We then tried to go to Drink to have a drink while we figured out where to do dinner, but there was a line out the door there, too. Mind you, it was like, 7pm, so it wasn’t even late!

-Finally, we landed at Lucky’s, which was actually really fun! I bumped into my friend, Liz, so it was nice to chat with her.

-Dinner at Lucky’s wasn’t really what we were looking for, so¬†after our drink at Lucky’s, we¬†decided to head to Lincoln for dinner since there was an Open Table reservation available. I’ve wanted to go there for ages, so I was excited! We shared the Ahi Tuna tacos (I’m on a serious taco kick. Literally can’t get enough of them), a salad and a steak meal… random, but everything was delicious!

Sunday

I woke up on Sunday morning thankful that we opted out of having a drink after dinner. I had plans to take a class at Barry’s Bootcamp and really didn’t want to be hungover for it (when a class is $28/class, you want to be in tip top shape!). I was super nervous for the class as I’ve heard it’s insanely hard, but I am happy to say I survived and I loved it!!! I went with my friend Lindsay and some of her other friends from Recycle Studio and had a blast. Ok, maybe not a blast, because crazy hard workouts aren’t really THAT fun, but I did love it.

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We started with 12 minutes on the treadmill. You may be thinking “meh, not bad”, but try starting that out with a run at 15% incline… yeah, that hurt! Luckily, though, we started at the top of the hill and worked our way down, but as we decreased the incline, we upped the speed, so it never got any easier. My sprints were at 10mph which was crazy fast for me!

After the treadmill, we did some floor strength stuff: walking lunges, push-ups, bicep curls, deadlifts, core, and then we jumped BACK on the treadmills for 12 more minutes. It was at that time when I was like “oh hell no. this sucks,” but I pushed through it and ended strong… we ran backwards which scared the crap out of me, but I am happy to say I didn’t trip and/or fall off! #winning

We finished the class with 1 more floor set and by the end, I was beat, in the best way. I really loved how Emily pushed us to run fast and up the incline because I certainly wouldn’t do that on my own. The strength sets weren’t anything crazy hard or fancy, but I did learn some new moves that I am going to copy and new formatting, so I’m happy about that.

I can’t wait for the next time because I know I can push myself harder!

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I went¬†to my friend Jessi’s boyfriends house for the Super Bowl on Sunday night. He had a little get together with a LOT of food. I certainly did not follow all of my tips, but I did drink water between beers, kept it to 2 beers and had it easy since the food was kept in the kitchen rather than on the coffee table. That helped a lot!

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Ummm these are mini meatloafs- how freaking cute are they?! Jessi made these and I’m obsessed and can’t wait to make them myself!

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And! I won $20 (it was $10 to play), which was just icing on the cake. I left after the halftime show since I was exhausted, but I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the halftime show. I could’ve done without the Red Hot Chili Pepper part because I thought that was a little weird, but I thought Bruno Mars absolutely killed it!! Anyone else?

Sorry about the super long weekend recap, but I really wanted to tell you about the restaurants I visited and about Barry’s Bootcamp, so if you made it here, thank you for sticking with me!

Questions for you: Have you eaten at any of the restaurants I went to over the weekend? When’s the last time you pampered yourself? Have you been to Barry’s Bootcamp?

Surprise 60th Birthday Party

Surprise parties can be iffy; some people love being surprised and some people hate it. Luckily, the surprise 60th birthday party for my mom’s best friend, Christine¬†(who happens to be a “Shapleigh Girl” mom… Sara and Amy’s mom, to be exact), went off without a hitch and was very well received by her. In fact, I don’t think she could have been happier OR more surprised… a win-win (side note- when I first typed “win”, I accidentally typed “wine”. Does that mean I have a problem?) situation if you ask me!

I headed up to Christine’s house in East Wakefield, NH Saturday after my kickboxing class. Sara took Christine to go baby shopping for Zeke, so Amy, my sister and Gordie headed up early on Saturday to get the house “party ready” while Sara and Christine were shopping. By the time I showed up, the house was looking great!

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The weather was absolutely perfect for a fall party. Not too hot, but warm enough for people to enjoy the weather out on the deck. People started arriving around 3:30, in anticipation of Christine and Sara’s 4pm arrival. Once we got the heads up saying they were on their way, we headed outside for the big reveal of the surprise!

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Not long after, she arrived!!

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And boy was she surprised! I think everyone started crying when she arrived because her emotions were contagious! Both Christine and my mom are HUGE gushers… aka, people who gush over, well, anything, so when she realized what was going on she was crying and screaming and laughing and just completely shocked. I don’t think I’ve seen a more successful surprise!

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Gosh just looking at those photos makes me get all choked up again!

I’ll let the photo’s do the rest of the talking. I am so happy to have been a part of such a special day for an incredible lady. Christine is like a second mom to my sister and me so it was awesome getting a chance to shower her with love and celebrations!

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Happy Birthday, Chris!!! Now you don’t have to plan your own party ūüėČ

Questions for you: Do you like surprise parties? Have you ever thrown one or had one thrown for you? I haven’t, but I think I would love it.

Catching up!

TGIF! What a week this has been! I think I am finally feeling totally better now… I thought I was better yesterday, but shortly into teach kickboxing, I realized it was a false alarm! I think the high impact, constant cardio mixed with trying to yell AND breath was what really did me in. Thankfully, the class has lots of “regulars” now and I don’t need to do as much of the class if I don’t have the energy (which, last night, I just didn’t).

Let’s do some catching up, shall we? Wednesday I worked from home because I was still not feeling well.¬† Since I am traveling for work 2 times in March and will be missing 2 Wednesday UXF classes in a row, I had to still teach¬†at night.¬† Luckily, I am not supposed to actually do any of the class (Since it is so intense, I am supposed to walk around, coach, correct form, etc)… I usually try to do about 3/4 of the class because I think members like to see me huffing and puffing too, but on Wednesday, I really didn’t do any of it.¬† We had record numbers at the gym on Wednesday… Look at this group!

001I had 29 members in class!!! There is nothing like the energy from teaching a big group! I was so bummed I couldn’t sweat with them, but at least I could wear one of my new lulu tops;)

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(Creeper spotting in the background!)

When I got to work yesterday, I was greeted with this amazing treat box:

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Ummm… YUM! I received a Winston Flowers gift when I was first hired, so as soon as I saw the ribbon, I KNEW it was going to be good! Of course, as soon as I got home I had to open everything up and try a bite of them all (thankfully my stomach welcomed these bites with big, hungry arms!).

The Effie’s Oatcakes were by far my favorite. I remember when Athena had an Effie’s Giveaway on her blog… such a good giveaway because these things are amazing! Especially dipped in the chocolate hazelnut spread!

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And, who doesn’t love chocolate covered Oreos??

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This hot chocolate is legit little chocolate pieces, so I am not sure how I will like that, but I’ll definitely give it a shot!

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Finally… marshmallow pops!!¬† I tried a bite of the Honey Pecan last night and it did not disappoint!

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Phew! What I am trying to say, is that gift basket was amazing!

Today I am working from home and then teaching UXF Burn in Allston tonight.  My sister and roommate are both returning home today after a week of travel, so I have pizza dough thawing in the fridge now and cannot wait for homemade pizza night! Be on the lookout for that post soon!

Questions for you: Have you ever received a Winston Flowers gift package? Were your classes busy at the gym this week? What are your Friday night plans?

Have a great Friday!