Five on Friday {12.3.15}

Good morning! I opted to not post last Friday because I figured everyone would be out shopping and not sitting at home reading blogs 😉 I’m happy to be back today sharing five more random thoughts/things with you, though!

1. How the heck is it December already?! I feel like it was just October the other day. November completely FLEW by. Have you started Christmas shopping yet? Do you have lots of holiday parties lined up?

2. Athleta pants– I’ve been in the market for a pair of full length leggings and ended up finding these amazing Chaturanga tights at Athleta the other day so I decided to just go for it. I’m so happy I did because I’ve worn them twice so far and absolutely love them! I was originally nervous about the light gray color, but so far they haven’t been overly offensive in terms of, well, crotch sweat… sorry, likely TMI but it’s something I think about because as an instructor I’m doing everything in front of the class and hate when you can see my sweat everywhere!


3. 1806 Candles: Home by the Fire soy melters My mom always shares her latest wax smells with me and this one is absolutely fantastic! It literally smells like freshly cut Christmas trees!


4. Stop Trying to Be Happy this is a little bit of a long read but it’s absolutely fantastic and I really encourage all of you to read it! RM sent it to me and I loved everything about it.

5. Surprise engagement gifts- Coming home to this awesome package from RM’s college roommate (who is part of the Tre Olive family) was such a fun surprise on a cold, gloomy night earlier this week! It’s literally some of the best olive oil we’ve tasted, so we will surely be putting it to good use. I also can’t wait to try the Red Pepper Spread he sent, too. I was looking through all the other gift ideas in one of the flyers attached to the package and there are some great, affordable gift ideas if you’re looking for something for the foodie in your life.


There you have it! I hope you all have a great weekend. I can’t wait to get our tree and decorate for Christmas- it’s my favorite time of year because it makes the house feel so cozy when it’s all decorated with lights and the tree!

Questions for you: Have you started shopping for the holidays yet? Do you have anything fun going on this weekend? What is your favorite athletic wear company? Did you relate to the article at all?

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.


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.


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!


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.


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!


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


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!


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?

Friday Things & A 25 Days of Christmas Workout!

Happy Friday, B2B readers! I hope you’ve had a good week. Mine has been good… let’s catch up quickly!

  • Tuesday- We got so much snow! I went to the post office at 3pm and there was no snow. When I left work at 5:45, there was probably 4 inches. I loved it!


  • Wednesday- We had a company holiday dinner at The Palm (it’s in the same building as our new office!), but since I was going to a SMC girls Yankee Swap after, I just had wine and a few bites of the passed apps. Dinner at Jessi’s was amazing!! Honey mustard glazed chicken and cheesy mashed potatoes with a side spinach salad. So good! But even better? Getting together with some of my favorite girls. And presents. I love presents.


I ended up with an Alex and Ani bracelet. It was my first one and I was so excited about it, not to mention the one Nikia chose was perfect for me. Very special!IMG_6131

  • Thursday- I treated myself to Cosi for lunch as I got home a little late on Wednesday night and didn’t have the energy to pack a lunch for myself.


SO good. Do you guys like Cosi? Their signature salad is absolutely delicious. It was the perfect fuel to teach my Thursday double, which consisted of the following 25 Days of Christmas workout and then kickboxing. It was so fun!

25 Days of Christmas

This workout was awesome. It was a total body workout and I loved that once we did something (besides burpees… there can never be too many burpees 😉 ), we didn’t have to do it again. A bunch of members came up to me and said the same thing, so apparently it was a crowd pleaser! If you’re running short on time, feel free to skip the second round for the various exercises where I wrote “X2 rounds” after the exercise.

**Edited to Add: I was so tired when I was writing this last night that I forgot to say where I got this idea! I was looking through Facebook a while ago and came across this workout and just loved the idea. I took the first few exercises from Aimee’s Fitness Advent Calendar, but the rest were just random ideas I came up with. I also took the chest press & leg lift exercise from Athena, which I learned during her Fall Into Fitness challenge. It’s one of my favorite moves at the moment!

I’m hoping work flies by today because I have after-work drink plans with my sister and my old yoga instructor/friend Alyson, who I love! I think we are going to Granary Tavern, but that hasn’t been confirmed. Saturday will consist of a workout, birthday lunch for my friend Lauren and Sunday will hopefully will be ok weather for the Jingle Bell 5K!

Questions for you: What’s your “go-to” lunch place during the week (if you get lunch out)? Do you have any Alex and Ani bracelets? What are you looking forward to this weekend?

PS- We got new computers for my new company because we finally moved offices and they are tracked a lot more than before, so I haven’t read any blogs this week 😦 I will catch up over the weekend!