Weekending & Life Lately Catch-Up

Good morning! I hope you all had a great weekend 🙂 Mine was really pretty great and I actually took pictures so I thought I’d spend today sharing those with you! But, before I get to that, let’s catch up over the past couple of weeks. I can’t believe we’ve been back from Italy for over 3 weeks- seems like just yesterday we were packing up to go there.

  • I’ve been working out outside a lot- whether in the form of running or bootcamp style workouts. With the nicer weather upon us, I just want to be outside as much as possible!

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  • But, I’m also loving being back in the gym with weights and strength training! Feels so good to leave the gym with jello-feeling everything 🙂

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  • I’m participating in Neghar Fonooni’s Bikini Rebellion challenge this month and am more than obsessed with it. If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve probably seen some very personal, “leave it all on the table” types of posts, which has been hard, but also really refreshing.
  • We’ve been loving healthy, light meals. In the heat, it’s awesome to throw something together quickly!

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  • My curly hair is back… BIG and back! I was afraid my curls were going away over the winter, but fear not… it was just the dry weather that made my hair less curly than usual!

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Weekending: “Ladies Night”, Zeke’s 1st Birthday and Local Supplier Meet & Greet at Whole Foods

You guys! This past weekend was busy, busy, busy…. but with all fun things so I can’t complain! I got a massage on Friday, which was a great way to end my “vacation” week and to kick off the weekend! After my massage, my friend Jess picked me up and we headed north for dinner in New Hampshire at Tortilla Flat with some of our other St. Michael’s friends. It may seem weird that we traveled all the way up there for dinner at a Mexican restaurant, but there was a Tortilla Flat near St. Mike’s and both Kia and Lauren worked there, which meant we went there… a lot… so  we had to check it out!

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Skinny Marg and a Combo Plate- nothing about Mexican food photographs well…

I have to share the cutest story from our dinner. There were 6 of us and all of a sudden a waitress brings over this little (5 or 6 year old) boy. Here’s how the situation went down:

Boy: Are you out for a ladies night?

Us: Yes, we are.

Boy: Well, you’ve come to the right place!

Us: Oh yeah? Why’s that?

Boy: Because I’m the ladies man!

So cute! We died laughing.

Luckily, it was an early night, which was good because I knew Saturday was going to be a big day. I cannot believe little Zeke is already ONE!!! It’s so crazy. Sara put on the most wonderful celebration- from the decorations to the food to the drinks to the company- everything was perfect! We lucked out with the weather, too. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves, but it was such a great day celebrating a very loved little boy!

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I mean, can you get any cuter than little Zeke in his 1 year old shirt with a bow-tie?!?! Love! Also love my Shapleigh girls and getting to spend an afternoon with them 🙂

Danielle and I headed back to MA early on Sunday since I had a blogger event to attend at Whole Foods.

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I’m always excited for blogger events, but I was especially excited about this one because I’ve been big into buying locally and organic and wanting to know where my food comes from. It was a small event, but there were a number of vendors with samples ranging from fish to prepared salads to cheeses and butters to muesli, pickels, salsa, ice cream and iced coffee. It was so great to chat with all of them to see how their products are made, where they are located and what makes them different than other similar items sold in grocery stores.

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I’m a big fan of good swag bags 😉 Some of my favorite things I tried were:

  • Cheeses and Sea Salt & Maple Butter from Vermont Creamery– I put some of this on my dad’s homemade bread it and it was absolutely amazing!!
  • Muesli from TuTu Muesli I anticipate early working hours, which means I’ll need to bring breakfast on the road with me so I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes with the sample that I received from TuTu. I bought some Muesli from Bob’s Red Mills and will likely do “over night oats” with that.
  • Salsa from Nola’s Salsa This stuff was absolutely delicious! There’s nothing better than fresh, homemade salsa and this totally fit the bill for that. The owner lived in Texas for a while and learned from the best. She only uses real ingredients and you can taste the difference. I can’t wait to open mine!
  • Ice cream from Tea-Rrific Wow. This tea-based ice cream was SO good. They actually brew the tea when making the ice cream so you could taste the specific tea flavors in each one. My favorite was the Masala Chai and the Chamomile- Perfect little sweet treat!
  • Cold Brew coffee from Grady’s Cold Brew– I gave up coffee about a year ago, but when I heard the vendor explain how it’s made without brewing coffee. Grady’s Cold Brew has less caffeine, it’s less acidic (much easier to drink!) and is easier on digestion than regular coffee. There’s no added sugar and the ingredient list is short: water, coffee, chicory and spices. All he added was a little almond milk for me and it was perfect!

Big thanks to Jess and Whole Foods Charles River Plaza for hosting such a great event… and providing us with some amazing swag bags with the products we were able to learn about and try.

Questions for you: How often do you get together with your girlfriends? What was the best part of your weekend? Do you like to shop locally or buy organic products? Have you ever heard of the ones I listed above?

Weekending: Relaxing, Spontaneous Girls Night, Sunday Dinner

I wasn’t sure what my weekend was going to entail going into it, which is very unlike me! For once, I went entirely with the flow and sans plans. It was quite nice, might I add!

Friday was weird since I went into the office. Luckily, we can wear jeans on Friday’s now. Since I was dressed and had my hair done, I had wanted to get drinks after work, but no one was around and by the time I got home, the last thing I wanted to do was go back out in the cold so I just stayed in.

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Saturday morning I took a class at Recycle studio with my friend Lindsay which was the best way to start my day!

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We grabbed coffee (tea for me) at Starbucks after class and it was really interesting to hear how she got into teaching at Recycle. It makes me want to do it, but it was a huge time investment and I don’t know if my schedule allows for that right now. By the time I got home, I was starvinggggg, so I quickly whipped up this delicious quesadilla.

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Ground turkey, mushrooms, kale and cheese. It.was.perfect.

I was able to spend the rest of the afternoon catching up on a LOT of blogging. I don’t often have a solid chunk of time to do that, but I wish I did because I was so productive.

I met my sister and Amy at Stoddard’s in Downtown Crossing for a drink before our dinner reservations at 49 Social. It worked out perfectly because they are literally across the street from each other. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you probably remember that the “Shapleigh” girls like to get together for girls nights. Rachel was out of town, so it was just the 3 of us this time.

49 Social was really, really good! I didn’t take any pictures of the food, but we got hummus, a Duck Confit Quesadilla, a burger and some asparagus and everything was absolutely delicious. We always like to get things from the bar menu or appetizer section since we all like to share, so it was perfect. Danielle and I shared a bottle of this sauvignon blanc which was quite tasty.

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For once, I didn’t want to go home after dinner. We were having so much fun that we decided to keep it going and have “one more” at Gem as it was nearby. Well, “one more” ended up being “three more” without even really realizing it! I absolutely love nights that turn out like this. We were all just living in the moment and enjoying being out together, so we kept it going.

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We met the young man in the photo above when Danielle was showing off her stellar dance moves. He was visiting from Australia and I’m not sure he really knew how to handle us. It was hilarious.

Anyway! Sunday was productive, but also flew by. I went grocery shopping and then next thing I knew, it was time to head into the city for a class at Exhale Spa. When I got home, I got cookin’ in the kitchen. I made garlic and cheese mashed cauliflower, roasted veggies and marinated chicken. It was simple, but healthy and really good. The flavors were spot on.

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Fantastic way to end my weekend!

Questions for you: When’s the last time you were spontaneous? What was your best meal over the weekend? What was the best part of your weekend?

Weekending: Granary Tavern, Birthday Lunching, Jingle Bell Running

I’m pretty sure the weather this past weekend did nothing for getting people in the holiday spirit, right? Nothing like 60 degree weather in December! Oh well, by the end of the weekend, I was able to ignore the weather and fully get into the Christmas/holiday spirit!

Friday Night

Friday night, my sister came over and we headed into the city to meet up with my former yoga instructor and current friend, Alyson. We decided on Granary Tavern, which I love. Alyson was running late so Danielle and I grabbed a drink at the bar while we waited. I splurged on the La Crema because, well, why not?

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We shared a few things like the Fondue, Ahi Tuna and Pizza. So good!

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After dinner, we bounced around to a few places before going our separate ways. Such a fun night and we definitely need to do it again, Alyson!

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Saturday

For the first time in a month, I didn’t have to teach last Saturday! But, to be honest, I missed it 😦 I really love starting my Saturdays teaching at the Oak Square Y because the energy is so good in that class and it gets me pumped for the whole day! Last Saturday, I decided to head to the Wellington BSC for some cardio, core and BodyPump. It was great!

After lunch, I met up with some of my college girlfriends (I love when I get to see them more than once in a week!) at the Yard House for our friend Lauren’s birthday. Have you guys ever been to the M Street Shops? They have so many stores (including a Lulu!), coffee shops and restaurants. I’m seriously obsessed with it and cannot wait to go back. Lunch was delicious, but what made it even more special was the fact that our friend, Kelly, who lives in San Francisco now, joined us. It was perfect!

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I hope you had a good birthday lunch, Lauren!

Saturday night was amazing- I did absolutely nothing! I feel like I’ve been on the go a lot on week and weekend nights so the fact that I had the chance to be home, alone, with no plans was awesome. I was in bed at 10pm and slept until 8am. Boy was that necessary!

Sunday

I woke up feeling like a new woman after 10 solid hours of sleep! After breakfast, I headed to Somerville to meet up with my sister and our parents for the Jingle Bell 5K. I will recap on that later, but it was such a fun race and day! We are so lucky that our parents are so supportive and love coming down to do things with us. They braved the ice storm and everything. Thanks mom and dad!

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After the race and lunch, I was SO happy to have a chance to hang out on my couch and shamelessly watch cheesy romantic holiday movies. I’ve been seriously obsessed with these movies this year!

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I don’t have many Sundays where I have no meal prep to do, no lunches to make, no grocery shopping to do, etc. I had a little blogging to do, but besides that, I was faced with an afternoon with no plans and it was lovely 🙂

Questions for you: Have you ever been to Granary Tavern? Did you or do you know anyone who ran the Jingle Bell 5K? What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

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!

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  • 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.

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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.

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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!

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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!