Five on Friday {11.30.16}

Good morning and TGIF! This week seemed to go by slow, but I was in a great mood all week so I can’t complain :)I can’t believe that it’s DECEMBER- how did that happen?! But I’m excited about it- I can’t wait to get a tree, decorate the apartment, listen to Christmas music and all the other stuff that comes along with this season.

Which brings me to my first Five on Friday topic….

  • Light Up The Seaport While the commons and Southie did their tree lightings last night, the Seaport opted to wait and do it tonight. I’m so excited to be there and see the tree be lit and then get drinks after.Gather, Aceituna Grill, The Envoy Hotel, Autograph Collection, Shake Shack, Kings America, & MiniLuxe will all be offering up delicious samples while Gather will also open up a remote bar on the side of District Hall! Plus, a pop-up concert by Andrew Smith Music!ย  If you’re around, grab your FREE ticket and join!
  • Metabolic Meltdown My friend Lauren just launched her Metabolic Meltdown program, which is 49 workouts that can all be completed at home- and none are more than 30 minutes! What I love is that she breaks it down by bodyweight, total body with weights, lower body focused, upper body focused and core focused. The quick, but effective workouts are my jam these days, as I’ve mentioned before, so I’m totally loving it. I’ve only tried a handful, so I’m excited to try the rest of them. If you’re feeling tired with your workouts or feel like you’re not feeling/seeing changes, I’d suggest checking out her program. It’s especially perfect timing as we enter a busy season!

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  • Festive Recipes- I had bought a huge bag of fresh cranberries at Whole Foods before Thanksgiving, even though I absoutely did not need them. Sure, I was asked to make fresh cranberry sauce by my mom, but that didn’t require a 2 pound bag of cranberries ๐Ÿ˜‰ This lead me to scouring the internet looking for other cranberry-based recipes. I decided on this Paleo Cranberry Bread and then this Cranberry Apple Crisp. Both came out so good!

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  • Friendsgiving & Thanksgiving- The weekend before Thanksgiving, my SMC friends hosted our 2nd annual Friendsgiving… this time with 3 little kiddos in the mix! We joked about how much times have changed since we graduated (nearly 10 years ago!!!). Per usual, we had such a great time- the food was awesome, the wine was flowing and nearly all of us were together and able to catch up. This has quickly become one of my favorite holiday events! Thanksgiving with my family was equally as nice, although a little quieter since there were fewer people! I couldn’t help but feel thankful!

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  • Francesca update- Our little girl is growing like a weed! We can’t believe how much she’s grown since we got her. She was 1.9 pounds when we first brought her home, 2.10 pounds when she had her first vet appointment a month later and we will find out how big she is tomorrow when we go for her next checkup. While she can be a bit crazy (and scratch the crap out of anything she gets her paws near), she really is the absolute cutest thing ever!

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I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and do something festive to get you into the holiday spirit if you aren’t there already ๐Ÿ™‚

Questions for you: What’s your favorite holiday tradition? Do you have any holiday/festive plans this weekend? How was your Thanksgiving?

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Five on Friday {11.18.16}

Good morning! I’ve been days ahead in this week so I”m very happy it’s FINALLY Friday- FriYAY for sure ๐Ÿ™‚ I appreciate all of your kind responses to my post on Monday. I always like to hear what you have to say about topics like food, body image, self acceptance, etc. Do you guys like those types of posts? I like to make sure I’m posting things that interest both me AND you, so I’m all ears!

Let’s talk about some Friday things though!

  • Purity Organics I received a wonderful package a few weeks ago from Purity Organics, which is an all natural, organic super juice/tea/coconut water company. I’m not always big on juices (I’d rather eat my fruits and veggies), but these juices are fantastic. They’re a blend of fruits, roots, veggies and spice and each one has such a unique flavor. Even though there’s more sugar in it than I like to drink, none of the sugar is added; it’s all from the fruits so I feel better about it. Plus, I only drink half at a time so as to not load up on a lot of sugar at once.

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  • Friendsgiving- Tomorrow is our second annual Friendsgiving with my college friends and I am SO excited. Unfortunately RM won’t be able to join me as he will be in Portland with his guy friends, but making it into a girls night for me isn’t the worst thing in the world ๐Ÿ˜‰ Since my family doesn’t do a big Thanksgiving event it’s fun to do it with my friends.
  • Saying No- Wednesday just one of those days. Work was stressful, I was bummed because no one signed up or showed up for my 5K bootcamp and I was still battling a cold. I had made a prior commitment to go see Anna Kendrick in the city with some work friends, but by the time I finished my [solo] run, I just didn’t have it in me. I hate bailing and saying no, but I just knew it was something I had to do. These days, between working 9-10 hour days in the office then teaching 3 days in a row after work, I find myself not usually up for much else on those days (besides eating and sleeping ๐Ÿ™‚ ), so in hindsight I shouldn’t have made the commitment but it sounded so fun! Luckily my work friends totally understood and I’ll say that once I said I wasn’t going I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders. Going home was exactly what I needed/wanted and I’m thankful I listened to my gut and did just that.

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  • Book Club Books- Call me crazy, but I’m currently in two book clubs, haha One was started with my SMC girls and one was started with my work friends. For my work friends book club, we are currently reading Big Little Lies and so far I’m loving it! It’s a long book, but I’ve been flying through the pages. My other book club is reading Underground Railroad, which was on Oprah’s book list and I’m excited to start it! I was kind of annoyed, though, because I requested it from the library WEEKS ago, and it still didn’t become available so I had to buy it. Hopefully I’ll be able to share it with people after I read it! Do you have any suggestions for good book club books?

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  • Seaport Sweat Winter Series Updates- Unfortunately, due to the fact the runs (mine and the Friday noon one) were just not picking up, they decided to cancel them for the rest of the series. I was initially really bummed, and felt like I failed since I couldn’t get a solid commitment/group of runners each week, but it’s actually a bit of a blessing in disguise. I was teaching 3 days in a row after work, which is a lot! And it makes it hard to do anything else after work, whether something as simple as running errands or going to a class or meeting up with friends, I felt like I couldn’t do anything! So, as sad as I am that it wasn’t successful, after having a good group last night (9 people!), I’m hopeful that my Thursday night will continue to be a good crowd because that class is a BLAST to teach. Seriously! It turned my entire week around, so thank you to everyone who showed up ๐Ÿ™‚

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And that does it for me- I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend- can’t believe it’s the last one before Thanksgiving!!

Questions for you: How was your week? Do you like juicing or drinking smoothies? Do you do a friendsgiving event? Do you have an easy time saying no or do you try to fit everything in? Do you have any good book suggestions:? How do you feel about winter outdoor workouts?ย 

 

Weekending: Friendsgiving, SoulCycle, sweetgreens & Taco Night

Good morning! Well, here we are- Thanksgiving is on THURSDAY. Can you believe it?! I have Wednesday-Friday off so last night barely felt like a Sunday night knowing I only had 2 days of work before an extra long weekend ๐Ÿ™‚ We had a really great weekend, so let’s get to recapping it!

Friday

I went food shopping on my way home after work on Friday- how exciting, right?! Once I got home and unpacked, RM and I enjoyed a glass of wine while catching up and throwing around options for dinner. We ended up walking to Bertucci’s, but sadly our meal was just OK- the pizza was just not nearly as good as I remembered it being. I hate that!

Saturday

We had a lazy start to our Saturday until it was time for me to go teach at the Y. It was a really fun class and for some reason my energy was off the charts so I hope I didn’t scare any new members away ๐Ÿ˜‰

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After teaching, I showered and headed to Queen Bee Nails to get my nails done. I had a free manicure coupon and decided to upgrade and get a shellac since I wanted nice nails for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving and dress shopping. I thought this color was very festive for this time of year.

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Once I got home, I got busy in the kitchen. I agreed to bring Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes and homemade cranberry sauce so I had lots of things to make! For the Brussels sprouts I just sautรฉed them in EVOO and added salt, pepper and 1 clove of chopped garlic. I also added pancetta which adds a great salty & crunchy combination to the dish. Athena left a suggestion on my Five on Friday post for a homemade cranberry sauce, so I checked it out and decided to make it. I loved that it was so easy to throw together! The only things I changed were adding more water, I put all of the orange peels in it and added a little bit of regular and coconut sugar because it was still a bit too tart for my liking (I think I had more cranberries than her recipe called for). It was super tasty!

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In the early afternoon, RM and I got gussied up and headed into the South End to meet up with all of my friends.

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Saturday night out is always more fun with leather pants on ๐Ÿ˜‰

My friend Amy’s brother has an incredible pent house apartment above Boston Chops and graciously let us host our gathering there (he plays hockey in Canada so he wasn’t there anyway).

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We had a blast chatting and drinking wine and eating. The food was incredible- everyone did a really great job with the dishes they were assigned!

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I feel so blessed to have so many wonderful friends in my life- these ladies are the best of the best!

Sunday

Needless to say, I woke up with a bit of a wine headache on Sunday so I had breakfast and then snuggled up on the couch with our new book club book for a while before I went to spin.

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Has anyone read this? I’m only about 100 pages in, but I’m enjoying it so far!

SoulCycle often sends out emails to take complimentary classes, I assume to help boost numbers for some of their lower attendance classes, but generally I can’t take part in them because they’re usually on really off times. This time, though, they had a Sunday 4pm class on the list, but when I called it was already full so they let me take the 11:45am class instead, which actually worked out better. I felt bad for the people next to me as I likely sweat out pure wine ๐Ÿ˜‰ The class was really fun and the instructor, Jeff, had lots of energy! Per usual, I didn’t think the class itself was that hard- I don’t know what it is about the classes there, but I never think they are as hard as they are at other studios. Where I think they do step it up is the party atmosphere, which is what makes the classes so fun!

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After class I went next door to have lunch at sweet green- a little Sunday treat ๐Ÿ™‚

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I did a make your own salad with kale, cucumber, broccoli, carrots and spicy quinoa and a side of their butternut squash which was not great- it was so thin and watery! The salad was fantastic, though.

When I got home, RM was snuggled up watching American Sniper so I decided to join him. It was a cold, rainy afternoon so it was a perfect thing to do! After the movie we went to Whole Foods to pick up a few additional staples for the week and for our taco dinner. We had a piece of steak in the freezer so RM took it out and suggested we slice it and put it in tacos. He’s full of good ideas sometimes ๐Ÿ˜‰ To go along with it, I made a super easy salsa (red pepper, tomato, red onion, pineapple, lime juice- everything chopped really small and then throw half of it into a food processor to give it more of a salsa consistency.

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I also made a avocado “sauce” made up of all sorts of random things we had lying around (I didn’t have sour cream or greek yogurt so I had to get creative): 1/2 avocado, 1 scoop of hummus, 1 scoop of goat cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, ~2 tbsp. EVOO and 1/8-1/4 cup of vegetable broth. Surprisingly, it came out great and was perfect to top the steak with.

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RM cooked the steak in butter and with salt and pepper- so delicious!

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It was a such a yummy Sunday night dinner! We both were pleasantly surprised by how well everything came together- even with using Ezekiel wraps instead of corn tortillas.

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YUM!

And that does it for us- All in all it was a great weekend filled with good food, great friends, fun exercise and lots of relaxation!

Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? What did you do? Did you get in any good workouts? Hang out with friends? What are you making for Thanksgiving?

Five on Friday {11.20.15}

Good morning- Happy Friday ๐Ÿ™‚ I know I’ve said it before, but I’m having so much fun writing these “Five on Friday” posts because I can pull any weird tidbit of information I want and one of you can usually relate to at least something in the post so I’ll chalk that up to a win ๐Ÿ˜‰ Also, I’m not sure if this means I have a problem or not, but when I originally typed “win”, I typed “wine”… hmm…

Anyway- on to this week’s Five on Friday!

1. Roasting a chicken- Two weeks ago, I roasted my very first chicken. It came out so good, I decided I needed to make it again for when my parents came down this past Sunday. RM and I agreed that my second one came out even better than the first! The best part? It’s such an easy meal to prepare! All you have to do is pick what veggies you want (we are veggie happy so we did Japanese sweet potatoes, regular sweet potatoes, carrots, celery and onion), chop them up, season your chicken with salt & pepper (I also used Herbs de Provance because that stuff is amazinggg), place some lemon slivers under the skin and then top with a few thin slivers of butter, which creates a nice crispy outer layer.

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2. Friendsgiving- I haven’t ever been a part of a “friendsgiving” so I am SO excited for the one we are doing with my college girlfriends tomorrow. We are all responsible for bringing various things, like Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes for me, and of course lots of vino ๐Ÿ˜‰ I might also try to make some homemade cranberry sauce- anyone have any good recipes for this?

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3. Yoga strength- As I mentioned on Tuesday I had the opportunity to take a bunch of yoga classes last week. I shared some things I learned throughout the various classes I attended and today I’m totally loving Yoga strength. While it may not feel like the same type of strength as weight lifting, to hold poses, go from high to low plank and do arm balances it requires an incredible amount of strength, especially core strength.

4. New sneakers- There’s nothing better than getting new shoes, amiright?! And, for someone who loves all things fitness apparel related, I especially love getting new sneakers. I’ve tried out my new Saucony running sneakers a few times this week and I have to say, I’m diggin’ them. I like the way my Mizuno’s hug my feet better than the Saucony’s, but the Saucony’s feel more stable when I’ve used them to train in which is great for Wednesdays when I usually run and then teach my class.

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5. Target holiday things– Umm, how amazing is this shirt?! When I saw it, I knew I just HAD to get it. I see myself most definitely over-wearing it ๐Ÿ˜‰

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And that does it! I hope you’ve all had a great week and have a great weekend planned out. Chat with you next week ๐Ÿ™‚

Questions for you: Have you done a friendsgiving before? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish? What brand of sneakers do you run in? Have you bought any Christmas things yet?