Treat Yourself Tuesday: Massage Envy Review & Giveaway

Good morning! I have a special post for you today because it includes a giveaway- that’s a nice way to start your Tuesday, right?!

While the holidays are fun because they’re filled with friends, family, parties & gifts, they can also be stressful when you’re trying to squeeze in a million things, all while trying to stay calm and in the holiday spirit right? Even though I’ve tried to slow down a lot over the years by not going to everything I’m invited to, I still struggle with completely slowing down, which is why massages are so important for me to prioritize. Over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend I had the chance to slow down and do something for myself by visiting Massage Envy’s Newton location,

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For those of you who aren’t familiar with Massage Envy I’ll give you a little background: They are a massage company with locations all over New England. They offer various services such as a standard massage, therapeutic services, facials and more. What I love about Massage Envy is that their prices are very reasonable, especially if you become a member. $65 a month gets you one 60-minute massage or skin service a month and then discounted rates if you want to upgrade to longer massages or other enhanced services. You also get a discount on your second service of the month should you decide to treat yourself extra nice 🙂

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I had heard a lot about Massage Envy so I was really excited to check it out. Upon first walking into the Newton location, I was greeted by a few very pleasant staff members working behind the desk. I had to fill out some paperwork (make sure you arrive early for your first visit!) and loved the fact that they offered me a warm towel for my neck as well as water. Little services like that make me happy!

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The massage itself was also a really great experience. Julian was my masseuse and he was fantastic- he asked if I had any areas of concern/tightness or areas where I wanted him to focus. Life has been stressful lately and I carry my stress in my shoulders/back so I told him those areas would be great. He had a map of the human body in the room and I loved that he used it to show me where he planned on doing work and then at the end again to show me the areas I was especially tight.

As we got going he asked how the bed temperature was as well as the pressure, and then throughout the massage I appreciated how he a. didn’t talk to me (I don’t want to talk while I’m getting a massage!) and b. checked in a few times to make sure I felt ok and that the pressure was good.

And then before I knew it, the 60 minutes was up 😦 I was not ready for it to end, I’ll tell you that! Even though I’m used to the full spa-like experience because we usually go to Exhale Spa where they have robes and showers and steam rooms and things like that,  I really enjoyed my first Massage Envy experience. It is a wonderful place to get a massage if you’re looking for just that: a quality massage to help relax you and work through areas of tightness/tension. The monthly membership is especially enticing since it’s such an affordable price AND would guarantee that I’d make time for myself once a month to relax and unwind.

Lucky for you, Massage Envy has offered to give one lucky reader a free 60-minute massage to the location of their choice in Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire! You can find the location that would be nearest to you by going here.

All you have to do to be entered to win is comment on this post telling me your favorite way to relax. Want extra entries? Leave an additional comment if you “liked” the post on Instagram or Facebook! I will randomly pick a winner on Friday, December 9th- good luck!

Thank you to Massage Envy for inviting me in for a glorious hour of relaxation- Can’t wait to go back!

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Five on Friday {7.29.16}– & a giveaway!

Good morning and TGIF! What a week! I was joking to someone the other day at work about how I thought that once I got married life would slow down, but if anything I feel like it’s even busier! Between planning our honeymoon, writing thank you cards, trying to organize the apartment, teaching a ton, trying to find the time to write the blog posts I really want to write, etc., I feel like I’m constantly wishing for more hours in the day. It’s all good, though, and I know it will settle down soon enough so I’m just trying to breathe through it and enjoy the process.

With that said, I’ve got a bunch of exciting things to share with you, including an awesome giveaway- so let’s get to it!

  • Honeymoon- Our honeymoon is officially booked! We went back and forth with seemingly a million different ideas/locations and ultimately we decided to go to the Amalfi Coast. We will be spending 15 days traveling throughout the area: Naples, Ischia, Sorrento, Pompeii, Capri, Positano and more. We are leaving on September 18th, which is coming right up! If any of you have been to any of those areas and have “must see/do” suggestions, please send them our way.
  • Dropping a class- On Wednesday night, I taught my last Wednesday night Burn class at the Central Square BSC. While I’m excited about new opportunities, it was a true bittersweet feeling as I ended the class. That class was my FIRST class as a new instructor and I grew it from an average of 4-6 people to a situation where the class would be at max capacity. I grew to know pretty much every member who came to the class and I got to see my members grow stronger each week and throughout the years. But most of all, they helped me grow into the instructor that I am today. I learned so much throughout teaching those classes and am forever grateful for the experience. I only hope that I’ll see their familiar faces in my new classes! Which brings me to my next point…

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  • Seaport Sweat Starting on Monday, I’ll be teaching a FREE 45 minute cardio kickboxing class outside in the Seaport greenery area (near Gather, the restaurant, & district hall) at 6:30pm. I’m seriously so excited about this new adventure. If you’re interested, you can sign up here. And, if you’re looking for a double, my girl Athena is teaching a free bootcamp at 5:30pm!

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  • JillFit’s 20X20 ChallengeSimilar to last year, this August I’m participating in Jill Coleman’s 20X20 challenge, which means I will complete twenty 20-minute workouts in the month of August. I rememeber this last year as being a really fun challenge because it didn’t require a lot of equipment and more importantly, a lot of time. She gave us really awesome, quickie workouts that I still go back to. This fits perfectly for me right now as I’m in the midst of a stage where I’m just not interested in long, super high intensity workouts. My workouts these days are short & sweet and I’m loving the way I look and feel! If you’re looking for a way to add a little spice to your workouts, but don’t want to be at the gym for hours- I highly suggest signing up for Jill’s 20X20 challenge.
  • #FITonthegarden Giveaway If you came to this post just for the giveaway… here it is! On Wednesday, August 3rd (next Wednesday) I will be taking a free Power Flow yoga class on the South Garden at the Prudential Center at 6pm followed by sweetgreen after. If you’re free to attend, you can sign up here and then you can enter the giveaway, which is a Prudential Center FIT prize pack valued at $75 which will include gift cards and/or swag samples from some of these possible retailers: Sweetgreen, FlyWheel, Lululemon, etc…. a pretty awesome prize if you ask me! To enter the giveaway, please comment below with your favorite outdoor workout. The giveaway is also going to be on my Instagram page, so you have 2 chances to win! Remember, only enter the giveaway if you can attend the class since you will have to pick it up at the Prudential Center Customer Service. I will choose a winner on Tuesday, August 2nd. Good luck!!

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And that does it for me! I hope you all have a fantastic weekend- I’m hoping for some nice beach weather, too 🙂

Questions for you: Where did you go on your honeymoon? Have you ever been to the Amalfi Coast? What’s your plans for the weekend?

Five on Friday {7.1.16}

Good morning, friends! Can you believe this is my LAST post as a “single” lady?! So crazy, but so awesome. As I’m sure you can imagine, this past week has been filled with lots of last minute wedding “to-do’s”, which has taken precedent over blogging. I wanted to pop in today, though, to share a few things before we go off to get MARRIED! I won’t be blogging next week, either 😉

  • Spoiled by Pure Barre- I have been getting SO SPOILED by Pure Barre lately! They are introducing a new class format and invited me to check it out by giving me THREE free months of unlimited classes at the Pure Barre location of my choice. Since there’s one right near my office I opted to choose that location. And, while barre isn’t my number one favorite workout, I do like to continuously try new things and their new class format sounds pretty intense since it’s adding a level of cardio to it, so I can’t wait to see what it’s all about! As a welcome gift, they sent me some fun things to get me started, like socks, a towel & a water bottle. Then, just this week they sent me a new Garmin tracker with the sweetest note. Love that!

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  • ProYo Giveaway- Did you guys see the giveaway that I’m hosting on Instagram? ProYo will be giving one lucky follower a free box of their ProYo treats, which I have to say are SO tasty! Tomorrow is the last day to enter, so if you haven’t entered please head on over and comment with what flavor you’d like.

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  • Feeling the love- We have already been feeling so much love from everyone regarding our upcoming wedding. From the calls to the texts to the emails, the support and excitement has been so awesome. And, my team threw me a shower on my last day in the office and gave us a super generous gift card to Crate & Barrel. I can’t wait to go shopping after the wedding! And, last night some of my work friends and I went out for drinks which was so fun!

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  • Family time- My parents came down yesterday to do some last minute wedding stuff. It was so nice having them here and getting to show them everything I’ve been working on. I’m so lucky to have such a wonderful, supportive family! We also went out to lunch at Branchline so my sister was able to join us. Last lunch as just “the Gagnons”!

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  • Quality time with my handsome future hubby– Although there’s always stress when you’re getting this close to the big day, RM and I have still been having so much fun together. I don’t really know how to describe it besides saying it’s just such an exciting time! Last Sunday we were able to spend some time at the beach and then went back to KO Pies one last time before getting married. It was perfect!

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And with that, I’ll talk to you guys in a few weeks! I am really looking forward to some extended, uninterrupted time with RM. It’s been a crazy few months so I can’t wait to be able to sleep in, go to the beach and just relax together.

Instructor Insider: Review Your Ride!

If you’re like me, before you take a class you want to make sure it’s worth your time, right? For me, there’s nothing worse than taking 45 minutes to an hour out of my day for a fitness class and leaving there feeling like it wasn’t a good workout or what I was looking for. I HATE wasting time, so often times if I don’t know who the instructor is, I’ll usually opt to just do my own workout because I know I’ll accomplish what I’m looking to accomplish for that particular day.

And, on the flip side, maybe a tough, challenging workout is NOT what you’re looking for. Imagine how that would feel walking into a class and feeling intimidated by the type of workout- maybe too much jumping or heavy weights or complicated moves. Maybe the music is too loud or the instructor is too “in your face”.

Whatever the reason may be, we all have different likes and dislikes when it comes to exercise and fitness classes, which is where Instructor Insider comes into play. Instructor Insider is a site where you can find out more about various instructors at boutique indoor cycling studios in and around the Boston area (think: Flywheel, Recycle, Velo-City, Handle Bar, Pursuit, Turn Style, Soul Cycle) by reading the reviews that other people have posted. Right now, this is only a site for indoor cycling studio instructor reviews, but my contact said that based on requests from users, they plan on adding in other boutique studios to the mix soon (think: Barry’s Bootcamp, Barre classes, yoga classes, etc.).

As far as what the site offers right now, there are a number of different categories to rate your instructor on such as Motivation, Choreography, Clarity, Music, Attendance and Soreness. There’s also a place to write out some thoughts/comments/feedback in case the categories don’t touch on everything you want to talk about.

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When the founders of this site reached out to me to see if I wanted to help spread the word about Instructor Insider, it was something I was excited to share with all of you, especially since boutique studios are pretty much taking over the city and city suburbs, right?! I just love the idea of getting to rate your instructor which not only gives THEM feedback about what people think of their class, but also gives others like us a glimpse into what we can expect to get with various instructors and allows us to pick classes that align with our fitness goals and class preferences.
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Burpees to Bubbly is 2!

I know I said this on Facebook earlier this week, but I CANNOT believe this little ol’ blog is TWO. Seriously. Whenever starting a new hobby or endeavor, it’s always questionable whether or not it will last or grow, and I can’t said I didn’t have doubts about this journey when first getting into it.

What if I don’t like doing it? What if no one follows me or reads my posts? What if it becomes too stressful?

I’m happy to say that even at 2 years in, I don’t only like doing it- I LOVE it. I genuinely like writing posts and sharing my thoughts, workouts, recipes, happy times and rough times with all of you. I was feeling a little burnt out at the end of the year, but after taking some time off and figuring out some changes I wanted to make, I started this year out with so much motivation and excitement towards my blogging “hobby”. I’ve got so many blog post topics written down, so stay tuned for a fun year 🙂

As far as being worried about followers or people reading my posts, thanks to all of you lovely people, I have nothing to worry about! Without you, this blog would be nothing; it’s thanks to your support, comments, encouragement and readership that helps keep this blog going. I’m always thinking of new things I can share with you, whether it be workouts, recipes or some type of life thoughts, I just love sharing things with you!

And lastly, although I’ve gotten stressed over not posting new material for you guys as often as I’d like to,  I’ve been able to work through it. I’ve also gotten better at prioritizing and giving myself a freaking break if I don’t post five times in a week or I don’t post a “Wednesday Workout” post for you. I’ve learned to accept that life gets in the way or blogging and that’s AWESOME, and shouldn’t be something to stress about!

So, with that said, here are a few things I’ve learned over the past two years:

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