Weekending: Keeping Warm!

Good morning! I had yesterday off which was such a nice treat, especially after drinking vino all afternoon at the Boston Wine Expo on Sunday 😉 Our weekend was filled with lots of good eats, tasty drinks and plenty of love to keep us warm- let’s recap!

  • A free sweetgreen lunch on Friday was a nice treat 🙂 If you come to my 5:30 sweat-KICK class at Foster Fitness, you can also get a voucher for a free meal at sweetgreens;)

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  • After work drinks at Tony C’s at Assembly Square with some college girlfriends was a fun treat, but coming home to surprise early Valentine’s Day flowers and a delicious spaghetti with clams dinner was even better!

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  • I thought my kickboxing class on Saturday would be quiet because of the weather, long weekend and holiday, but there were still about 40 people who showed up to sweat with me- they killed it!
  • I did a huge grocery haul at Whole Foods after class so we didn’t have to leave for the rest of the day… which must’ve been everyone else’s plan because it was SO BUSY!

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  • I started my Box FIIT certification later that afternoon. I can’t believe how much time and energy George Foreman III put into this certification- it’s so impressive and I can’t wait to be part of the team!

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  • Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies- enough said!

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  • I slow cooked chicken all day to make pulled chicken for taco night… or what was supposed to be taco night! I was prepping the last bits of the meal when we lost power in half of the apartment, including the stove, which meant no tacos for us 😦 While the pizza we ordered was delicious, I was REALLY looking forward to pulled chicken tacos!

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  • Sunday morning we still didn’t have power in half of the apartment so we headed over to RM’s mothers to have our pancakes there. I had all intentions of making cute heart shaped ‘cakes, but these still did the trick!

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  • We bundled up and headed into the city on Sunday afternoon for the Boston Wine Expo. It was such an awesome way to spend a frigidly cold Valentine’s Day!

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  • We also ran into our friends from Tre Olive which was a fun surprise. I’ve posted about them a few times (here and here) so it was great to get to see them. Every time we went to their booth they were slammed, but I did manage to get a photo with them and they were gracious enough to give us quite the goodie bag. Seriously- look at all of the oils they gave us and the fig balsamic which is literally drinkable it’s so tasty. If you’re looking for an interesting gift to give your boss, client, parents, friends who are getting married, etc., Tre Olive has everything you’d need! Their packages make the best gifts.

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  • After the wine expo, we weren’t quite ready to stop having fun so we popped in at Rosa Mexicano for a drink and a snack. So tasty!

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  • For dinner, I was able to make the pulled chicken tacos that I couldn’t make on Saturday. I apparently forgot to take a picture, but they were fantastic!  I sautéed some broccoli slaw and bok choy for the base, topped that with pulled chicken and homemade pineapple salsa and avocado. We had plenty of leftovers so I made us a quesadilla last night- just as good!

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  • I had Monday off so I spent time in the morning filming some cardio kickboxing combinations before heading over to Gymit in Watertown to checkout the new Everybody Fights addition. George has been teaching a bunch of intro classes and luckily I had time in my schedule to take one. It was such a great class- very challenging and let’s face it- you feel like a total badass punching the big bags 😉

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  • And finally, the rest of the day was spent doing more of the certification and doing lots of meal prep! Love starting the week out with lots of healthy food options right at our fingertips.

Did you make it this far? I had more to share than I thought I did! I hope you all have a great week- soak up this warmer weather while you can 🙂

Questions for you: How was your weekend? Did you do any good workouts? Did you do anything for Valentine’s Day? How did you keep warm? Do you prefer quesadilla’s or tacos?

Weekending: Thanksgiving & Long Weekend Edition

Good morning! I feel like I haven’t “talked” to you guys in a while… I guess an extra long weekend will do that 😉 I ended up taking Wednesday off since my company gave us a half day, so not working Wed-Sunday was a nice little treat! Although the time off was very relaxing, we did do a lot of fun things, so let’s recap! Warning- this is a long post, but there are lots of pictures so you can just skim and check those out if you want 😉

Wednesday

After sleeping in a bit, RM and I got up and had breakfast and then I hit the gym for a run and lifting session. It’s always a nice treat to be able to workout mid-morning without being on a time crunch.

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Since a few of my girlfriends also had Wednesday off, we decided to meet up at my friend Jess’s apartment in the North End since she needed to stay close to home for her daughters nap time. It worked out well because we were able to chat and hang out without feeling rushed like we might at a restaurant.

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For dinner, RM and I met up with his brother and sister in law at Charcoal Guido’s on Moody Street. One of RM’s childhood friends opened the restaurant a few years ago and since we live closer to the area now, we decided to finally check it out. The pizza and atmosphere were both great! I had never been to Moody Street but I think we will be going back soon because it’s such a fun street!

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Thursday

We woke up on Thanksgiving and lounged around while watching the parade. I wasn’t sure if I was going to workout, but ultimately decided it was something I wanted to do. I wasn’t doing it to “earn my meal” or because I wanted to feel better about possibly indulging, I did it because I felt rested and I felt thankful for the fact my body can move and that it’s strong.

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My parents ended up going to my sister’s for Thanksgiving so RM and I decided to go there for apps and a drink before doing the whole dinner thing at his mother’s house. I decided to bring a variation of the Apple Brie Appetizer Bites Athena posted last week. To change it up, I ended up using sharper, hard cheeses instead of the mild, soft Brie. They came out great and everyone loved them!

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We had a blast at my sister’s and even though it was hard leaving them, it was nice to be able to see both families. Dinner at RM’s mother’s house was- no surprise- delicious, but sadly I didn’t take a single photo! I always feel awkward taking food pictures when I’m around his family, but I think I need to suck it up and take them because everything is always very picture worthy.

Friday

Friday was a super fun day because not only did I shop for wedding dresses, I ended up buying one!!! More on that later- I have a whole post to describe that experience 😉

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I loved that my whole family- including my dad- were there for the experience. It was so special and so fun! And, might I add, there was no “Say Yes to the Dress” drama! To celebrate, we went to Buff’s Pub for lunch. My parents hadn’t been before and my sister and I thought it was a great place to take them. The verdict? They loved it!

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After my parents left, RM and I went to Lookout Farm to visit his cousin and check out their new taproom. I fell in love with everything about this place! It was originally just a farm where you could go apple, pear, peach and strawberry picking, but recently they decided to make good use of the excess apples and they started making their own hard cider. I’ve never been a huge cider person (except for when I studied abroad in England and we drank cider all the time!), but the ciders at Lookout Farm are absolutely delicious! They aren’t too fruity sweet and they’ve got great fizz to them. We started with a sampler flight of the 4 flavors they had on tap: Farmhouse Blend, Super Berry, Green with Envy (has green tea in it) and Barn Burner (which is spicy, I think with habanero peppers in it).

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Mark, RM’s cousin, brought us for a tour of the property and it was incredible to see how big it was and to see where they brew the cider.

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Once we got back to the taproom, we each ordered our own cider (Super Berry for me) and shared a charcuterie plate (3 meats, 3 cheeses & olives for $12.75 I think). They also have big, soft pretzels and various flatbreads and everything looked delicious.

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Such a fun time! If you’re ever in the South Natick/Wellesley area, this is definitely a place you need to check out!

Saturday

We got up early on Saturday and I fit in a workout before hitting the road to Ikea.

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I’ll say that I love a good dorky matchy-matchy sesh, but RM and I were even a bit much for me on Saturday. In my defense, I got dressed first! Luckily he ended up taking off the vest once we got to Ikea 😉

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We grabbed some Starbuck’s and then attacked Ikea. I was so impressed with how well the experience went. We were there early enough to avoid the crazy masses of people and we found everything we were looking for.

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To celebrate, we went to La Casa De Pedro for lunch and cocktails. Everything was fantastic!

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The rest of the night was spent putting stuff together and being totally lazy. We logged some serious couch time!

Sunday

I woke up craving pancakes so I decided to whip some healthy ones up.

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And yes, I love topping mine with syrup, homemade jam and almond butter. Don’t judge 😉

After breakfast we did a good cleaning of the apartment and then I went and got a new phone. My old one had something stuck in the headphone hole so I couldn’t really use it when I was at the gym or teaching which was annoying.

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We decided to get a new, smaller table and I love how it looks now! and the yellow chairs RM picked out are amazing!

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Later in the afternoon, RM had to cash in a bunch of quarters so I went along for the ride… mostly because he also suggested getting a drink at a local bar after 🙂

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Wine and an onion soup for me- perfect mid afternoon snack!

The rest of the night was spent doing some meal prep and lots of blogging. This is a busy week and I have lots to share with you guys so I tried to get ahead of the game by logging in some serious blogging hours. It’s actually a perfect sunday night activity since RM is usually watching football!

Questions for you: Did you take extra time off around the holiday? Where did you celebrate Thanksgiving? Did you do any good workouts over the weekend? Have you been to Ikea before? Ever been to any of the restaurants linked in this post?

Weekending: Decking it, #StreetSweat workout, Date night & SoulCycle

Good morning! Lots of fun things to recap from the weekend, so let’s get right to it, shall we?

On Thursday night, RM and I met up to go for a walk after work. We hadn’t seen much of each other over the week so we figured that catching up and getting in some movement was a way to kill two birds with one stone! We love going for walks together and it was such a nice night! Piers Park is so pretty.

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After work on Friday, I treated myself to a pedicure. I got a funky mint-green color (forget the name!) and wasn’t sure how I was going to like it but I actually love it!

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Once I got home, I poured myself a glass of vino (rose- my fav these days!) and headed out to the back deck to enjoy my little urban oasis. My friend Jess got me this cookbook/entertainment book for my birthday and I’m loving it so far!

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Have any of you read it? Not long after I settled in, RM stopped by and joined me for a drink before heading to his place to make fish tacos. We thought we had frozen some corn tortillas, but we were wrong so we enjoyed them sans tortilla. Still delicious!

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Saturday I headed over to Chestnut Hill for the #streetsweat workout event lead by MOVE Fitness. In case you missed my initial blog post, check it out here. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway! I’ll pick the winner on Thursday morning. Back to the workout- it was really fun! At first I didn’t think it was going to be my type of challenging, but Ron and Sabrina did such a great job showing more advanced options as well as less advanced options so that everyone felt good during the workout. I ended up working really hard and felt it the next day. We did all sorts of fun things with the heavy sand balls, bands and our own bodyweight.

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It was also great to workout with- and meet!- Lexi (Lexi’s Clean Kitchen), Rachel (Healthy-Chicks) and Michelle (Sunshine & Superfoods). Lexi had to leave the workout early to get set up for her table inside Lululemon, but here’s a post-workout pic of Rachel, Michelle and me!

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We all headed into Lulu to try out some f the goodies that Lexi brought- 2 words: Holy.Yum! I can’t wait to check out her cookbook when it comes out next year!

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(We were also given free samples of Juice Press juice and this one tasted just like a watermelon!)

After the event, I met my friend Jessi in the city for lunch at Granary Tavern and then we swung by our friend Amanda’s apartment in the North End. No pics, but it was such a fun little afternoon! Finally, my Saturday ended with a date night with RM- something we hadn’t done in Boston in forever!

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We went to Island Creek Oyster Bar first and enjoyed some drinks and oysters, but ultimately decided we were in the mood for Eastern Standard. It was incredible- even at the prime time in Boston on a Saturday night we found seats at the bar right away at both places. It’s like they were waiting for us 😉 At ES we shared a salad, fried calamari and a lamb sausage pasta bake.

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Sunday morning started with a fantastic bunch of healthy pancakes.

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After, I met my sister at SoulCycle for the 11:45am class. It was a FULL room and the energy was amazing. It was our first time having a male instructor and I have to say that James L. was amazing!! He was so energetic and motivating and he had some really good dance moves at the front of the room- I would catch myself just watching him a few times!

To end out the weekend, I went to RM’s mom’s house for Sunday dinner and, per usual, it was delicious. I walked in and said it smelled delicious and asked what she cooked and she laughed saying it was sauce, duh. How silly of me!

All in all, despite the weather being less than perfect (ok New England, what’s with these rainy/cloudy weekends and perfect weather during the week?!), it was a really great weekend! Can’t wait to head up to Maine for the 4th this weekend!

Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? Do you have outdoor space to enjoy in the summer? What’s your ideal “date night”? Do you like male or female instructors better?

Weekending: The Gagnons Do Boston

Good morning! How was your weekend? Mine, per usual, went way too quickly. I still have San Francisco to recap for you, but for now, let’s do a little weekend recap!

Friday night, RM and I headed into the city to have a sushi dinner at Douzo. It feels like it’s been ages since we had a Friday night date night, and since we aren’t eating meat on Fridays (Lent), it was a great excuse to get out and do a sushi date night. Per usual, the food was fantastic. We shared a few rolls and sashimi pieces and had their spicy garlic coated edamame which is absolutely delicious! Paired with a few glasses of rose and good conversation, it made for a great night!

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Oh, and tempura bananas and ice cream to finish the night? Perfection.

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Saturday morning started with my cardio kickboxing class which is always my favorite way to start the day! But what I was really excited about on Saturday was the fact that my parents were coming down for the night. My sister used her points and got them a night at the Renaissance, so she, her boyfriend, RM and I headed in around 6 to meet for a pre-dinner drink and then dinner at 75 on Liberty Wharf. Have you ever been there? It’s right on the water next to Jerry Remy’s and it’s a cute, tiny little restaurant with delicious food! We all loved our meals- everything from the steak tip salad to salmon to seafood stew to a burger and my Jambalaya, was just awesome.

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Post dinner, we headed over to Whiskey Priest because mom wanted to go dancing. I hadn’t been there in years, and it didn’t take long for me to realize why: it’s such a young crowd!! But, they had a great live band and we had so much fun dancing and meeting people. Guess that’s what happens when you bring your cute little mom to the bar 😉

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“I’m a guy magnet!”- Sue Gags herself. We did not know these guys, but she had guys and girls dancing with her all night!

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Even though I stayed out way later than I anticipated and drank more than I would’ve liked, it was seriously such a fun night. I’m so lucky to have parents who love coming to the city and going out and having fun.

Sunday morning had a very lazy start, which was perfect. And these healthy pancakes? The best RM has ever made!

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All in all, such a fun weekend! I was so sad last night when I knew it was coming to an end.

Questions for you: How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun? Where do you go dancing? Have you ever been to 75 on Liberty Wharf?

 

Sunday Morning “Pancakes”

While I’m en route to San Francisco, I thought I’d share a yummy, healthy breakfast idea for you! Hope you like it!

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I’ve never been a pancake lover. Sure, they look good and taste good, but they just never leave me full for more than an hour or so, which is crazy because they make me so full while I’m eating them! So, for that reason, you won’t really find me ordering pancakes when I’m out. However, when RM makes his “pancakes” (I put this in quotations because they are super healthy protein pancakes), they keep me full for at least a few hours because of all the healthy goodness he puts in them.

Since I’ve posted a number of “pancake” photo’s to Instagram, I thought it was only fair for me to finally share one of RM’s recipes with you. In all honesty, it only took this long because I never watch him make his pancakes and he never measures so they always come out differently. This past Sunday, though, I finally nailed him down and got a recipe for you 🙂

I will say that these are not light, fluffy, sweet pancakes. They are, however, chock full of good ingredients and can be modified to add some sweetness if you’d like. We didn’t have any maple syrup, so I got creative and put some of my mom’s homemade jam, almond butter and then I tried some of the blueberry reduction that RM made. I have to say, the blueberry reduction with a little honey was a winning combination 😉

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