Weekending: Playing Hookie, Engagement Photos, Birthday Party & Enjoying the Weather!

Good morning! I know everyone is talking about the weather, but I mean, common- is it really this warm in FEBRUARY?! I’ll take it, though. If there isn’t going to be snow I don’t really want frigid cold temps.

Did you guys have a good weekend? Although I was feeling a little anxious going into it because of how many plans we had, it ended up being such a great one! My sister and I decided to “play hookie” on Friday afternoon so we met up at Assembly to go shopping. RM and I were having our engagement photos on Saturday afternoon and I hadn’t been able to go shopping prior to, so it was nice to have some extra time on Friday to shop without being rushed. It was also nice to get to hang out and catch up with my sister- lunch, shopping and drinks on a Friday afternoon- can you get much better than that?

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I was on a mission for just a few necessary things for our photoshoot: white jacket, new jeans and new black booties, all of which were found- and most on crazy sale! My friend suggested going to Wilson’s Leather for jackets and I’m so happy she did because I got both of these for $84! I don’t think I would’ve gone in there on my own… I mean, I didn’t even think this store still existed!

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After our shopping I went to my friend Jessi’s apartment for some vino, apps and girl talk before making my way back to Newton Corner. I didn’t want to leave, but I knew I wanted/needed to be rested for Saturday. I grabbed a pizza from Bertucci’s on the way home, we watched an episode of Breaking Bad and hit the hay by 10:30. It was fantastic.

Saturday started with an incredible cardio kickboxing class- 60 members came and gave it their all. It makes what I do so rewarding!

After class I cleaned up quickly and went to Queen Bee Nails to get a much-needed manicure followed by heading to Waltham to get a hair cut and blow out. I always try to plan my hair cuts around when I have something going on at night because it makes my “getting ready” time much easier and faster!

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I ended up wearing this for the photos:

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Later that afternoon, we headed over to East Boston to meet up with Janelle at KO Pies since it seemed only fitting to kick off our engagement photos where it all started! Janelle and I worked together a few months back when she did my fitness photos, so I’m so excited to be working with her again! The owner of KO Pies was so happy that we were doing our photos there that he asked if he could take a picture and share it with our story- the photo isn’t great, but it was so cute of him to be so excited for us!

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Janelle’s photos, though? She shared a sneak peek and I love it so much. I can’t wait to see the rest!!

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After the photos, RM and I headed back home quickly before parting our separate ways for the night. I was going into the city for my friend Sheila’s surprise party at Stoddards and he was going to meet up with some guys on Moody Street in Waltham. Even though I was exhausted and so tempted to stay home, I’m glad I went because nights out in the city with these ladies just don’t happen as much these days!

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In typical grandma fashion, I was home by 11:30 😉

We ran out of eggs on Saturday so we decided to go out to breakfast on Sunday, something we rarely (if ever) do! We went to the Delux Town Diner and it was fantastic. Veggie Hash & eggs for him, breakfast sando for me and their unbelievable sweet potato pancakes to share. I forgot how good diner breakfasts are!!

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After breakfast and food shopping, we went into the city so RM could take some photos for his new website. I wanted to go for a walk anyway so this was a great way to do both things. The weather was just too nice to be inside!

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We swung by his mother’s for dinner after and then when we got home I did some food prep, including this incredible looking spaghetti squash which has sautéed onions, garlic, red pepper, zucchini, summer squash, spinach and ground pork. Topped with a little cheese and you’ve got your self a super tasty and healthy meal!

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I’m gearing up for a busy week between subbing for Lauren’s Build & Burn classes tomorrow night (if you’re a YMCA member, come!), teaching my class on Wednesday and then teaching the kickoff sweat-KICK class at Foster Fitness on Thursday, so I’m happy to have a dish that will be quick and easy to re-heat for dinners!

Questions for you: How was your weekend? Have you ever played hookie? Did you get any good workouts in? Did you try any new recipes or restaurants? What’s going on this week?

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Boston Restaurant Roundup: Part 2 {Seaport District/Southie & East Boston}

Did you miss my first “Boston Restaurant Roundup” post? If so, check it out here. In that post you can find lots of restaurants in the downtown Boston area, including Faneuil Hall, Financial District and Downtown Crossing.

As far as this post goes, we are moving out of downtown Boston to some of the more “up and coming” areas in Boston: Seaport District/Southie and East Boston. While these are a little more on the outskirts of the city, they are super trendy right now and draw masses of people. Here are some of my favorite restaurants in these areas- enjoy!

Seaport District

  • Row 34 is not only my favorite restaurant in the area, but probably my favorite restaurant in Boston right now. I was taken there for my birthday and have wanted to go back ever since! The décor is amazing, they’ve got a great beer (with gluten free options!) and wine list and are known for their Oyster selection. The rest of the options on the menu were just as good as the shellfish appetizers we tried. The only downside is that it is always really busy, so getting a reservation can be tough.

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  • Trade– I haven’t eaten there, but the drinks are really, really good! It’s also in a great location and has a funky style to it. The downside is that the drinks are pricey, but if you’re going for just one before dinner plans, it’s perfect!

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  • Miel– This is a French restaurant located in the Intercontinental and it’s my favorite French restaurant in Boston. I’ve only been for lunch, but every time I’ve been it’s been awesome! From their fancy salads to sliders to French sandwiches and French Onion Soup, the taste and presentation is terrific. They’ve got a really nice patio area on the water, too, which is always a plus!

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Southie

  • Lincoln– I have had dinner and brunch at Lincoln and both times I was pleasantly surprised by the food. It’s known as a “hot spot” for late-night drinking, but it’s worth a visit during meal time, too. They have a “bucket of bubbly” that is a really popular item for brunch, and they were very accommodating to gluten/dairy intolerances when I went there for dinner. If you plan on going there for your night out, I suggest getting there early (like 9pm early) or going for dinner beforehand, otherwise you’ll be in line for a long time.

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  • Stephi’s in Southie– My sister and I went there for brunch on New Year’s Day and were really pleased with the decision. They’ve got a huge bar area, as well as an open dining area, too. The wine was very affordable and the dishes had interesting and really delicious ingredients in them. I still want to go back for dinner!

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  • Moko– My sister just moved to Southie and this restaurant is right down the street from her apartment. We finally decided to go earlier this week and I was really satisfied with the menu options and the quality of the fish! I don’t often have a hard time deciding what roll I want to order, but at Moko there were so many delicious options that I really struggled! I settled on a crazy spicy roll and when I asked to have them do it without tempura, it was no problem at all. I love when restaurants are accommodating to food requests. Though the rolls were not cheap, the wine was! I got a glass of Kendall Jackson Chardonnay for $9, which I think is a great deal. I definitely suggest visiting this little hole in the wall sushi restaurant if you’re in Southie.

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East Boston (aka, Eastie)

  • Santarpio’s– I’m sure this comes as no surprise, right?! Whenever I tell people I live in Southie, the two things they most commonly ask is if I’ve been to Santarpio’s and/or Rino’s. While I haven’t been to Rino’s (yet!), I have been to Santarpio’s a number of times and each time it has lived up to the hype everyone gives it. The pizza is absolutely delicious (the pepperoni, garlic and hot peppers is my favorite), the meat skewers are always worth getting (sausage is my favorite) and the waiters/service is worth a trip on its own! It’s certainly a “no frills” type of place, but the drinks are cheap and the food is great.

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  • Ecco– Ecco is located across the street from Santarpio’s and is actually owned by the same owners. I’ve been there for drinks a few times and dinner once and each experience was really good. The drink menu has some fun options and their taco trio plate is delicious! I’ve heard that they have a back patio, too, so it’s a great place to go when the weather is nice.

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  • KO Catering and Pies– My Eastie friends Pat and Colleen told me about this place and then the boy and I went there on our first date! What I love about it is that it’s almost on the water (it’s in the seaport district) and has outside picnic tables, pitchers of beer, live music and drinking games (corn toss, etc.). The food isn’t to be overlooked, though, as it seemingly reflects authentic Australian meat pies. I got a “floater” which means it’s a meat pie topped with mashed potatoes and gravy and it was to die for! I’m big on messy foods and this fit the bill perfectly. I can’t wait to go back this summer!

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  • Prima e Dopo– This is owned by the people who own Rino’s and was opened to accommodate the masses of people waiting hours for a table at Rino’s. It’s a small place, but they have wine (on tap!), beer and spirits, as well as a small menu. I went with my upstairs neighbor, Lisa, and my sister on Valentine’s day and we had the meatballs, pizza and something else that was a cheesy/saucy dish. I’ve also had the shrimp scampi bruschetta and everything was SO GOOD! The prices are also great.

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  • Angela’s Café– My friends Pat and Colleen also introduced me to this place- a little hidden gem Mexican restaurant. We went for brunch and I got the Mexican Breakfast Burrito and it was so good! I’ve heard that their margarita’s are also super tasty… I still haven’t had a chance to get back there to try them, though. Since they have outside seating, I’m sure I’ll make my way there some night after work for one this summer.

I think that does it for places I’ve gone to and enjoyed in the Seaport/Southie/Eastie areas of the city. Did I miss any/do you have any suggestions for places I should try? Have you been to any of these places? Wine on tap- love it or think it’s gross? Where’s your favorite pizza place?

Settling Into Eastie

This past weekend, I felt like I really started to settle into living in Eastie. And, the more I see, do and learn about Eastie, the more I love it! There are so many great restaurants, bars, parks and nice people and I think it’s really turned around in recent years.

Not only am I loving living in Eastie, but I’m loving the fact that I have friends who live down the street from me! Pat, Colleen and I are starting to take advantage of living so close to each other, so Friday night, the 3 of us headed over to Ecco for afternoon cocktails. Ecco is owned by the same owners who own Santarpio’s. Since I’m still trying to hold on to one last bit of summer, I ordered their Sangria and it was amazinggggg.

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Pat insisted on us ordering the Seasonal Cheese Plate, so we did, and I was very happy about it. Cheese and crackers is one of my favorite “snacks”, especially when I’m enjoying cocktails!

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Thanks for a fun night, neighbors! Can’t wait to do it again 🙂

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I know this sounds so lame, but I was so happy about being home early on a Friday night and waking up on a Saturday feeling refreshed. I went to BodyPump, Christmas Tree Shop and then hung out with my sister and Amy at their apartment. They even made me pizza on the grill, which was unbelievable! Have you guys ever had that? If not, I highly suggest trying it 🙂

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From there, I went on another tour of Eastie; I swear, it’s bigger than I thought! We checked out Orient Heights and Constitution Beach and I learned all of the “hidden gem” restaurants and bakeries. We ended the afternoon at KO Pies which is a place I’ve wanted to cross of my “must try” list for a while. It’s this random, little hole in the wall restaurant in the shipyard area of East Boston and I would never have known about it had I not been introduced to it. There’s also a location in Southie- have you heard of it? We enjoyed Harpoon Pumpkin Beers while chatting outside- it was the perfect day for that! Not too hot, not too cold.

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And we couldn’t leave without trying their famous pies! I didn’t take a picture because it really wouldn’t do the pie any justice, but just trust me- it was amazing and well worth a trip!

I slept at my old apartment on Saturday night and as much as I love living alone, waking up and watching TV and blogging with “roommates” around was so nice, especially since it was such a rainy/gross day. We had ridiculous amounts of laughs, especially when we all practiced “twerking”. Yes, that happened.

We spent the rest of the day with Jessi, doing lunch and shopping. I was grumpy because of the weather and traffic and crazy busy city, but I did have fun with the girls! Prosecco in the afternoon on a Sunday is never a bad thing 😉

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Nor are nachos. I have a weak, weak spot for nachos.

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After lunch we shopped a little. I was good and only got a pair of skinny jeans that were super on sale at the Gap

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And, that about sums up my weekend! I didn’t have time to make a big “Sunday dinner”, but I did make some amazing Whole Wheat Pumpkin muffins and those were way better than any dinner I could have made 🙂

Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? Did you go to Harpoon fest? What’s your favorite cocktail these days?