Honeymoon Recap: Napoli

Good morning!n No “Five on Friday” for you today, but I think you’ll like this post! Now that the wedding recaps are complete, I can blog about our honeymoon! To sum it up, it was the most amazingly wonderful two weeks we could’ve ever asked for. It was our third time to Italy (2nd together), and I swear- it gets more and more special every time I visit.  We especially loved this trip because we got to explore the Amalfi Coast, which is even more beautiful in person than it is in pictures. Our itinerary was: Naples for 2 nights, Ischia for 4 nights, Sorrento for 3 nights, Positano for 4 nights and then 1 more night in Naples to be closer to the airport for our flight home. I’ll break the recap posts into each area that we visited, making sure to share what we did, where we stayed, what we ate (and where we ate where I can remember!), suggestions, etc.

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Where We Stayed:

For the first Naples stop, we stayed at the Renassaince Naples, which we really loved. It was a nice, clean hotel with decent size rooms, it had a great breakfast with beautiful views and most importantly, it was SUPER close to everything you’d want or need. We could literally walk out and be in various piazza’s in just a short walk. We were also surprised by a Luna di Miele gift (we assume it was organized by our travel agent: Coleen at Simply Honeymoons), which was a great way to be welcomed to the city!

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The hotel also had a small gym, which I used just once.

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For our last night in Naples at the end of our trip, our travel agent opted to put us at Grand Hotel Parker’s, and while it was a BEAUTIFUL hotel (very luxurious) with amazing views, we felt as though it was a bit too far out of the way for our liking. When we got there on Sunday afternoon, we were starving so we headed out to find food and had to walk and walk and walk in order to find anything. Granted, it was a Sunday and a lot of things are closed on Sundays, but still. It didn’t seem like it was a highly populated area of nearby piazza’s, cafes, etc., which was not the case with the Renaissance that we first stayed in. So, if your thing is views moreso than proximity to the action, then this is certainly the hotel for you because it was really, really nice and had wonderful views. Plus, our room was so great- it was 2 floors with 2 bathrooms! It was almost like a little apartment 🙂

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What We Ate

I sent my parents a copy of the itinerary I created and they were laughing when they saw “eat pizza” on the list of “things to do” in Naples 😉 But the pizza in Napoli really is unlike anything we’ve ever had before. It was simply unbelievable. So basic, but so delicious! And cheap! 3 euros for a pizza- can’t get much better than that.

  • Aperol Spritz- These are the best thing ever! Paired with the “snacks” that cafes give you when you order drinks, it made for a perfect afternoon pickmeup.

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  • Cafe & Sfogliatelle at Gran Caffe Gambrinus, which is a well-known, very historic cafe in Naples. The sfogliatelle there were amazing!! If you don’t know what they are- google it, find an Italian bakery and get one. You won’t regret it!

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  • Pizza at Di Matteo. Tribunali Street is THE street to get pizza if you’re in Naples. If the line at Di Matteo is too long, there are at least a handful of other well-known, delicious places to choose from. We grabbed beers at the store next door, ordered a pizza and found a stoop to eat it on. It was amazing- and the pizza was only 3 euros- heck of a cheap date 😉

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  • Lunch at Attori & Spettatori– We had been walking and walking and walking and finally stumbled upon this restaurant, which had everything we were looking for: drinks, food, outdoor seating, quiet area. We opted to get a piazza fritta, which is a “fried pizza”, a staple Naples is known for. It’s basically a calzone that’s been fried and while it’s good, we preferred the traditional pizza. This restaurant was great, though!

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  • Dinner at II Garum Ristorante– this was suggested by the hotel and it did not disappoint! We didn’t make reservations so we couldn’t eat outside, but the inside was warm and charming so it was great. We shared a few apps, but the star was the special of the night, which was a lobster tail pasta dish. SO good!

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  • Gelato- duh! I don’t remember the exact places, but everywhere we got one was great.

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What We Did

  • LOTS of walking around, checking out the various piazzas.
  • Tour “Naples Underground”- this was a really interesting part of our trip because we didn’t know that it even existed! From their siteForty meters below the characteristic and lively streets of the Historic Center of Naples, you find a different world, unexplored, isolated by time, but deeply connected with the world above. It’s the heart of Naples, and the place from which the city was born. To visit it is to travel to the past, a world 2400 years old.Every historic epic, from the foundation of Neopolis, to the bombs of WWII, has left it’s mark on the walls of the yellow tufa stone, the soul of Naples, and the stone with which the city was built. Naples Underground is the most famous and fascinating guided tour underneath the city of Naples. Our guides will take you on a journey through 2,400 years of history, from the ancient Greeks to modern times, unveiling the “womb” of Naples from an archaeological, historical, anthropological and geological point of view.. Head on over to their site to learn more- I know my explanation won’t do it justice!
  • Walk around & explore small streets & churches- Italy is FULL of both of these things and we really enjoyed just wandering and stumbling upon both.

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  • Archaeological Museum- We didn’t get a chance to visit this, but I would’ve liked to have because it sounded amazing. They had lots of original pieces from Pompeii which would’ve been cool to see.
  • Eat pizza 😉 And mozzarella… no, seriously. Throughout the whole trip we couldn’t stop raving about how GOOD the mozzarella was. It was so creamy and fresh and flavorful- unlike anything we’ve ever had in the states!

Would we go back?

Absolutely!! While we had received words of caution before going (ie: hold your bag tight, leave your ring in the safe, etc.), we didn’t feel nervous or in danger at any point during our trip. Sure, there were a few homeless people asking for money and the city felt a little dirty, but nothing you wouldn’t get from any other city. Overall, we really loved Napoli and would totally go back!

Questions for you: Have you ever been to Napoli? What’s your favorite “big city”? Do you prefer fancy/loaded pizzas or more basic? What’s your favorite vacation drink?

 

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Weekending {Extended Version}: Birthday Celebrations & Marathon Monday

Good morning! I opted to not blog yesterday as I had the day off and figured a lot of you may also have it off or may even be running the marathon! Between taking my birthday off last week, working from home on Friday and then having yesterday off, I feel like I’ve been on a little vacation, which is pretty awesome. With everything going on these days between wedding planning, the BoxFIIT certification, teaching, blogging, working, etc. I feel like I was running on empty and really needed some time to re-charge the batteries. Granted, the past week has been filled with lots of things, but most didn’t involve work which helped give me that “recharge” I needed.

I’m going to keep my captions short, so enjoy the pictures!

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Birthday yoga!

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Birthday manis/pedis/lunch with my birthday buddy!

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Strong ladies supporting me in class. Not pictured: after class drinks at Gaslight 🙂

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Julian pizza from Max & Leo’s- the birthday girl doesn’t cook on her bday 😉

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Beautiful flowers and prosecco from coworkers who came to my class

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Extra bday flowers from RM

 

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All dolled up! Love the new bag RM got me

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My sister surprised me with a bottle of bubbly at dinner. We went to Committee in the Seaport and everything was unbelievably good- we couldn’t stop raving about how flavorful everything was AND they sent out a birthday treat- I highly suggest checking it out!

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Post kickboxing sweaty selfie.

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Entertaining my parents- I’m so sad that I didn’t get a single photo with them while they were here 😦

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Food shopping

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Pancake breakfast

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Birthday presents from my dad- picnic table, fire pit and a heck of a lot of wood. It was SO nice of them to come down not only to celebrate, but also to bring all of these things to help us have an awesome back yard/patio!

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4miler in gorgeous weather. I wish I could say it was a great run, but my legs felt like lead the entire time and my miles averaged 15-20 seconds slower than usual… BUT… I finished it and it felt great to be outside. Who cares about the mile times!

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Taking advantage of the sun and doing my thank you cards for the bridal shower gifts we’ve received outside. And then I started reading Defending Jacob, which is our new book club book. So far, I’m enjoying it, although it’s crazy that it takes place in Newton!

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Beer at home by myself: a rarity, but the weather encouraged it 😉

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Meal prep for the week: a cauliflower rice & other veggie “stirfry” with a peanut sauce and then a veggie-filled quiche- both have so much flavor!!

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Loving our outdoor patio space! Took my workout outside yesterday morning and it was amazing.

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We walked from the Intercontinental Hotel (where RM parks his car) to the Back Bay and it was so nice strolling through Boston Common’s in the gorgeous weather.

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We were fortunate enough to hang out at the Solas Pub (part of the Lennox Hotel) pretty much right at the Marathon finish line thanks to New Balance- drinks, food, prime spectator location?! Yes, please. So thankful for this opportunity!

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Watching the marathon is always a super emotional and inspiring thing. I love watching everyone who is finishing strong, but I also love how everyone is looking out for each other. The crowds roared even louder when struggling runners were trying to get to the end. Fellow marathoners helped those who were physically too beat to run on their own. Paramedics and EMT’s and all of the other helpers were there to help get people safely over the finish line. It gave me chills soaking all of that in. Such a wonderful experience.

If you made it this far, THANK YOU! I’ll be back tomorrow with a workout… and maybe even a recipe for you this week!

Questions for you: How was your weekend? Did you get outside to enjoy the weather? Did you go to the marathon or did you run the marathon? What do you have planned this week?

Weekending: Wedding Update & Double Easter Celebrations

Good morning! Hopefully by the time this post goes up, I will have already gotten my butt kicked by Eliza at the Watertown GymIt/EBF studio. As part of the Box FIIT certification I’m working on, I’m trying to get as much class experience as I can with other instructors to help better prepare me for when it’s time to start teaching my own classes- eek!!

This past weekend was another good one- lots of family time with both families which is always a nice treat! However, I am looking forward to this weekend since we FINALLY have a weekend with virtually no plans, which hasn’t happened in forever. I have so many general life things that I want to catch up on, so hopefully I’ll be able to get a bunch done!

After work on Friday I went to the Paper Source in Lynnfield to finalize our wedding invitations. I started them online which helped because I went into the store knowing exactly what I wanted and how it looked, but I was also able to work with a super helpful lady who helped me add more text lines and change the layout a bit. They are super simple, but classy- I love them and can’t wait until they come in! Oh, and the best part? All wedding invitations and related things were 20% off, which really helped keep them within my budget.

Once that was done, I picked up a few things at Whole Foods: pizza ingredients for dinner and quiche ingredients for Saturday brunch with my family. I made this quiche which was a big hit.

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The pizza I made for RM and me was also fantastic- the dough from Whole Foods is so good!

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Saturday started off with a sweaty kickboxing class. I don’t know if it’s because I hadn’t worked out in 2 days or if it was because I hadn’t slept well the night before but the class kicked my butt!!

After class we showered up and headed into the city to go to my sister’s apartment for part 1 of our Easter celebrations. So much food, so much wedding talk, so many laughs! I also brought out my biggest of hair for the occasion 😉

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Oh! And my mom washed her vail and brought it down to see if I wanted to use it for our wedding. I think it will be so special having my “something old” (and something borrowed) as her veil. I just need to find a nice comb to attach it to.

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(and yes, I am a giant next to her!}

We stopped at Branch Line for a few drinks on our way home. As good as the drinks are, we REALLY need to get back there for dinner because everything looked and smelled amazing!

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Sunday morning I kicked off the day with a quickie 20 minute bodyweight tabata workout (I’ll share it with you on Wednesday!) and then went to church. I haven’t been to church since we moved, so I figured Easter Sunday was as good a day as any to start. I hope to get back into a more regular church-going schedule.

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When church was over I went food shopping and got wine and flowers for the Easter dinner at RM’s mother’s house. I didn’t get any photos of the food, but it was quite a feast: homemade lasagna (homemade noodles and everything!), grilled lamb, salad, brussels sprouts, potatoes, peppers and so many desserts. My future SIL’s parents came and when her mom walked in with a bunny cake it made me so happy because my mom always made me a bunny cake for my birthday/Easter!

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As much as I didn’t want to food prep when we got home, I knew it would be better if I just got it over with!

And that about does it- the weekend came and went way too quickly, per usual! I hope you all had a great weekend and have a kick ass week!

Questions for you: How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun? What did you do for Easter? Did you get any good workouts in? Do you go to church?

Weekending: Making Sausage & Pasta

Good morning! Another weekend, come and gone- how come they go by so quickly?! This past weekend was a real treat on the food front- too good not to share!

Weekending….

I had an apt in the city after work and after that I met RM for a drink and some snacks, but not before enjoying my “to go” wine from my waxer:

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When I met up with RM, we ended up going to Nix’s Mate- I enjoyed a rose bubbly, he had a delicious beer and we ended up getting some oysters and shrimp since they were only $1 each!

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To help with my Box FIIT certification, I’m trying to get to more Box FIIT classes so I hit one up on Saturday morning. It wasn’t as hard as George’s, but it was still a great workout and I seriously cannot wait until I can start teaching my own classes!!

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I hadn’t seen my sister in almost 3 weeks so after class I met up with her and our other friend Amy for manicures in Southie. Amy and I ended up getting the same color and I love it!!

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The rest of the Saturday was spent at our friends Jessi and Chuck’s apartment doing all sorts of cooking. RM and I went to the north end and picked up the sausage and then headed over to their place to get cooking.

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We opted for 8 pounds of meat which ended up yielding about 35 decent sized sausages. RM also had the butcher grind it and season it (2 ounces of salt per 10 pounds of meat) to help save time. We decided to do 2 different kinds: regular and garlic/parsley/parmesan and I don’t know which one I liked more! The whole event was so smooth and seamless- we were all pleasantly surprised by how easy it was! In just a few hours we had loads of sausages to enjoy.

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And, if that wasn’t enough, Jessi and Chuck broke out their recipe for homemade pasta and sauce- umm hello deliciousness! Making pasta with the Kitchen Aid attachment was SO easy- RM was ready to go out and buy the adapter yesterday!

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Between the homemade sausage, which cooked in the homemade sauce and the homemade pasta, the meal was pretty freaking amazing!!

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We also played games and drank lots of vino while we waited for everything to cook. It was seriously one of the best Saturday afternoons we’ve had in a while… even though we were so exhausted by the end that we went to bed at 9:45 haha

Sunday started out with being up nice and early thanks to our early bed time so we ended up going back to the Deluxe Town Diner in Watertown for breakfast. Our breakfast looked very similar to how it did the last time we went there, only difference was that RM got an omelet this time.

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I love being up and out early- getting to Whole Foods at 9:15am on a Sunday was such a nice treat! Besides Whole Foods, I went to Target, cleaned the house and then RM and I went to LensCrafters to get new glasses. Since I still love my current glasses, I opted to go for an entirely different style so I can rotate between the two. I’ll show you a picture once we go pick them up. Later that day we went to visit his mom since she just got home from vacation. We had pizza and salad and it was perfect!

And that about does it! How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun or different? Did you get in any good workouts? Do you like boxing workouts? What’s your favorite breakfast item to order? Have you ever made sausage or pasta? What do you have going on this week?

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?