The Week In Review: Birthday Celebrations, Christmas, Weekending

 

Good morning! It feels good to be back 🙂 Besides one post last week, I decided to take the week to just detach a bit- I had no desire to blog so I figured it was a sign I should take a little break. I’m back today, though, to recap the week! With RM’s bday on the 23rd, Christmas week is always a little crazy and chock full of celebrating (read: indulgent food, lots of dessert and plenty of drinks). Even though I’m off today, I’m excited about getting back on a little bit of a schedule this week… that is, until New Years Eve 😉

Monday- Last week I organized a little holiday celebration for a few of the teams at my office. We went to Kings in Lynnfield and had a blast drinking, bowling and munching on various passed apps.

Tuesday- After work on Tuesday, I went into the city to meet up with my sister and some other people at Back Deck for a drink before they went to the Nutcracker. I had wanted to go, but with it being the day before RM’s bday, it was just too much.

Wednesday- I used a floating holiday on Wednesday which was a nice way to ease into the holiday. Since it was RM’s bday, I told him I would make him whatever he wanted for breakfast. He decided on banana cinnamon French toast- how delicious does this look?! It was 2 pieces of Ezekiel bread, 2 eggs, dash of milk, plenty of cinnamon and sliced bananas that I sautéed in the pan.

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After breakfast, I left the house to let him study for his big broker exam (who schedules a big exam on their birthday?!) and hit up a class at Orangetheory. The first time I went to that studio was over the summer and the class was good, but not crazy hard. This one? Much harder! It was endurance day so we ended up starting the class on the treadmills for nearly a half hour! My base pace was 7 and my pushes were in the 8’s and then sprints in the 9’s and 10’s… I was dying by the end!! The strength session was also more challenging and I was sore the next day. Can’t wait to go back!

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I finished up with shopping and wrapping while RM headed into the city for his test. A few hours after the test started I hopped on the bus to be in the city when he finished so I could take him out to dinner. Luckily, he passed the exam so not only were we celebrating his bday, but also that! It was a very good day and Davio’s did not disappoint!

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Thursday- We took our time getting up on Thursday and eventually went into the city for birthday massages (well, birthday for him) at Exhale Spa. Per usual, the whole experience was wonderful- it’s really the best place to get massages!

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had to rick my “mistletoe & mimosas” T!

After we were finished, we hit the road to head to Maine. I went to Christmas Eve mass with my family and then we prepped for family friends to come over. It was a another successful Christmas Eve party! Good group of friends, plenty of delicious food, lots of bubbly and laughs. I did not take many pictures as I was just having too much fun being present in the night.

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Friday- We woke up later than normal on Christmas morning and found ourselves nearly rushing through presents- oops. We all got lots of great things, but I have to say that my sister’s gift to me was probably my favorite -it was so incredibly thoughtful and I loved that it was wedding themed since up until now, I hadn’t really received anything wedding-related. The ring holder is absolutely perfect, the shirt is so “me” and the book filled with all of the important things so far (“the ring”, “the Date”, “the location”, “not the dress”, “the band”…) nearly made me cry! I can’t wait to fill it up with things throughout the wedding process and then with photos from the big day.

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After presents, we packed up and headed back to MA to do Christmas with RM’s family. I didn’t take any pictures, but his mother and sister made a delicious meal, we had fantastic wine and opened more presents. I loved the sweater and necklace that his mom and sister got me- now it just needs to get cold enough to wear them 😉

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Saturday- I started out the day working on our wedding website and then hit the pavement for a 3.5 mile run, followed by some upper body strength circuits. After a rest day on Christmas and indulgent food for a few days, it felt very good to move!

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After lunch, the post holiday blues started to hit me and I had to laugh as I realized my outfit was coincidentally mirroring my mood.

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I knew I needed to get out of the house so I returned a few things, went to the library to get another book for book club and then decided to grab a glass of vino at Branch Line while waiting for RM to be done with his things for the day. I brought my book in and totally enjoyed sipping my Chardonnay while I read (even if it did seem weird to people who saw me).

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The rest of the night was spent relaxing- we ordered in, I kept reading and was in bed by 10. It was perfect 🙂

Sunday- I decided to get up and make us healthy pancakes. I changed the recipe by adding in another egg and we both agreed they may be the best batch yet!

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The rest of the day was spent being incredibly productive: 2 loads of laundry, changed the sheets on the bed, put away Christmas gifts, cleaning the entire apartment, grocery shopping, meal prepping and blogging. I did get RM to food shop with me and happened to sneak in a bouquet of flowers 😉

 

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Meal prepping isn’t always something I want to do, but once I get going- and especially once I’m done- I’m always SO happy I did it. I still have to make a meatloaf and cook the kale today (and RM has string beans and broccoli he wants to cook- we go through veggies so fast in this house), but knowing the most time consuming part is done is amazing.

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And that about does it! I know this post was long, but hopefully the pictures kept you reading. I can’t believe Christmas has come and gone, but at least we have our wedding to look forward to in the next 6 months or so!

I hope all of you had a fantastic holiday week!

Questions for you: What did you do to celebrate the holiday this year? Do you have to split holidays? Do you have any traditions? Meal prep- love it or hate it? Did you do any shopping after the holiday? Are you taking any time off this week? Any good workouts to share?

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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.

Friday

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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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

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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!

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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?

Weekending: Red Sox, Massages & Parties

Hi there! How’s the week? Mine has been good so far- changing up the workouts and taking it a bit easier with them. I know it’s a little late for my weekend recap, but the past one was super fun… and extra long, so let’s recap 😉

Thursday

My company often gives away Red Sox tickets and I was not only available to go to the game on Thursday night, but won the tickets so I COULD go- it was such a fun treat! On top of that, no one else wanted the other 2 tickets so I grabbed those and invited RM’s brother and sister-in-law. They left their son with Nona (RM’s mom) and joined us for the game- so fun! The seats were REALLY good and it couldn’t have been a more perfect night for a game.

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Friday

RM and I bought a Guilt deal for massages at Exhale Spa (my favorite place everrr) so we cashed them in on Friday night.

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If you’re looking for a good place to get a massage, I highly suggest Exhale- everything about the experience is perfect! From the locker rooms, to the waiting areas, to the steam room/sauna to the massage itself (and warm lavender tea bags for your eyes!)… it never disappoints!

We had plans for a BBQ picnic after our massages, but the weather didn’t cooperate so we grabbed a drink at the Living Room before heading home to make turkey burgers…inside… womp.

Saturday

After teaching my kickboxing class, I ran errands and then picked up RM to head north. My friends Nikia and Kyle had their engagement party at their beautiful home in New Hampshire- I always love going up there! The whole afternoon/evening was SO fun. We drank, we ate (a lot of food- her mom is an amazing cook!!), we played games, I went on the 4-wheeler… solid day/party!

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Sunday

Sunday started off with a healthy smoothie before getting some Sunday things done (grocery shopping, picking up, puttering etc.).

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We had RM’s nephew’s 1st birthday party in the afternoon so before I knew it we were heading to Watertown. I made this caprese orzo salad and was quickly reminded of how easy and tasty the dish is. I should’ve made it more often this summer 😦

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The party was really fun! The food was amazing (wouldn’t expect anything less), the company was great and the birthday boy was adorable!

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Sadly, I got a really bad stomach ache by the end of the party, which was likely brought on by all the different kinds of food I ate and the fact that I had 2 parties in one weekend. Party food is great, but too much of it can make me feel icky.

All in all, though- it was a really great weekend!

Questions for you: Have you been to a Red Sox game this summer? Where do you get massages? Do you over-indulge at parties?