Kicking It At Fenway {& Other Birthday/Long Weekend Celebrations}

When I told people that I got up to go to a 6am workout at Fenway on my birthday, most thought I was a little crazy. Who wakes up extra early on their birthday, and day off, for that matter?! Me, haha But for me, starting out the day/year with one of my favorite things (working out) is exactly what I love doing. And, when you combine that with getting to workout AT Fenway and WITH Eliza & a huge Kick It Crew, it makes for a pretty awesome start to the day and year.

Big thanks to New Balance for inviting me to take part in the workout & DayBreaker event. and providing me with this awesome outfit to wear! I’m totally obsessed with everything!

Unfamiliar with DayBreaker? In short, it’s a really incredible way to start the day- first you workout (yoga or some other fitness class) and then you dance… all before work. Yes, it is as amazing as it sounds! Founders of the idea came up with it as a way to show that you can dance and have fun while being sober, and that doing that before work is a great way to get the brain’s “happy chemicals” going (dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin & endorphins). Another cool part about the event is that you wear headphones to hear the music and instructor, so to onlookers it looks like a silent workout since you can’t hear what’s going on. As I looked back through my Instagram Story, I was laughing at how funny it looked because there was no sound!

I had a blast hanging out with fellow instructors and bloggers!

From there, I came home to the most beautiful, springy bouquet from RM and then went to get my nails done.

For Christmas, my sister had gotten us a night at a hotel, so we opted to cash that in on my birthday up in Portsmouth, NH. Being from Maine, Portsmouth has always been that perfect halfway meeting spot for family and friends, but other than lunches or dinners up there, I haven’t really spent any extended time getting to know the city. That said, RM and I totally fell in love with the city- so many great restaurants, bars, shops, etc.

We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn, which was a perfect location for everything downtown. The room was big and clean- we would definitely recommend it! Here’s a quick recap:

  • Lunch at Gaslight- food was good, but the service was terrible and so slow!
  • Post lunch drink on the awesome (but small) deck at Old Ferry Landing– we has so much fun there!

  • Birthday dinner at Black Trumpet– This came highly recommended by Athena and some others so we decided to check it out for dinner. They did not steer us wrong- we had the most unbelievable meal there! It’s a small spot with 2 levels and we grabbed seats at the bar upstairs. We had drinks (the wine on tap was SO good) and then shared the following: Chickpea Socca, Goat Doner Kebab, Warm Octopus Salad,  Archer Angus Chuck Steak and cookies & milk for dessert.

  • My parents met us for lunch the next day and we went to Rudi’s, which was also fantastic! We had a drink at the bar and then enjoyed a great lunch. My parents had just gotten back from a 3 week road trip/vacation so it was fun to catch up with them!

We squeezed in a quickie workout when we got back before having a quite night in.

Easter Sunday started with breakfast and Church followed by a small Easter dinner at RM’s mother’s house and a long walk when we got back.

Before we knew it, Marathon Monday was upon us and we were heading to Solas to hang with the NB crew. This is such a fun day and event- so thankful to get to be a part of it!

All I could think about when I saw this photo was “I’m on a boat!” haha

Overall, it was such a wonderful birthday/holiday/long weekend filled with pretty much all of my favorite things.

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Weekending: Lots of Birthday Celebrations

Good morning and happy December! Last weekend was a fun, birthday-filled weekend. RM and I headed up to New Hampshire on Friday afternoon for my friend Nikia’s surprise 30th birthday. I ended up finding a great deal at The Exeter Inn so we headed there first. This hotel was SO cute and charming- a nice change from the normal chain hotels I stay at. They had a gorgeous REAL fireplace in the lobby area, old, intricate details, funky little rooms and an amazing restaurant/bar… not to mention Exeter is a super cute little town. After a quick gym trip on Saturday morning, RM and I headed to Portsmouth and had brunch at Michelle’s. I’d been there once before and was happy to see that this experience was just as good as the first. I got the Truffle scrambled eggs and they were SO good. Sunday was spent celebrating my sister’s birthday at Gem. Post brunching, we came back and I decorated the tree and food prepped for the week. Solid weekend- enjoy the pics!

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Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? Have you ever been surprised with or helped to throw a surprise party? Where’s your favorite restaurant in Portsmouth (if you’ve been)? Have you ever been to a boozy brunch? Have you decorated your tree yet?

Weekending: Kickboxing, Babysitting, Breakfasting, Beaching

Good morning! I had a busy, but fun weekend this past weekend, anyone else? I feel like I’ve been in constant “go-go-go” mode for a few weeks now and I’ll be honest, I am ready for a little down time! This weekend, besides the Color Me Rad race on Saturday is pretty much wide open. It’s going to feel great to have TIME to get things done, or, to do absolutely nothing but hang out and relax! As I will be moving in a few weeks, I am sure there are lots of things for me to do around here!

On Friday, I dropped Tim off at the airport around 2:45. From there, since it was so hot, I headed to Starbucks to get some work done. It wasn’t at all what I wanted to do, but I didn’t have a choice:( Once I got to my apartment, I pretty much stayed in my air-conditioned bedroom since our apartment thermostat read 93 degrees. Yikes!

Saturday morning, I woke up mostly rested and mentally prepared myself to tackle the day! On the agenda, going to the bank, teaching kickboxing, grabbing lunch, babysitting and then stopping by Rachel and Dans’s for a BBQ. As I said yesterday, kickboxing was SWEATY! I think it’s because our body temps are abnormally high because of the crazy heat wave- does this make any sense? I got a kick out of the twitter messages post class:

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At least I wasn’t the only one:)

Babysitting was hot, but fun. Watching the kids play in the sprinkler was so fun- ah, to be a carefree kid again, just for a day, would be so great. I brought pizza dough and toppings since I thought it would be fun for us to make pizza together, instead of ordering out. The kids LOVED it. Trying to explain the concept of what we were doing and what it would “turn into” after we baked it was hilarious. Lila said it was the “best pizza she has ever eaten”… job well done 🙂

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Unfortunately, Rachel and Dan’s BBQ had ended, but it was nice to chat with them for a little while. I was ok with going home early as I knew I needed to get up and leave the house by 8:30am on Sunday to meet Meredith for breakfast in Portsmouth. Meredith moved to Australia about 8 months ago, so it was SO GOOD to finally see her and catch up. We joked, though, that there’s no way to catch up on that many months in an hour and a half breakfast. We did our very best! Meredith is literally the sweetest person I know and I am so happy that we are such good friends. She’s the best listener and just “gets” it (whatever “it” may be). Thanks for meeting up, Mere!! Miss you already!

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Since I was already north of Boston and the weather was nice (the heat wave seemed to have finally broke!!), I decided to hit up a beach that I might not normally go to. I had a million things on my “to-do” list, but when I looked at it, I realized that I really needed some quiet “me” time, so I decided to go to Plum Island in Newbury. The beach was really nice and luckily, it wasn’t too hot. I stayed for about 2 hours until I realized I was a. starving and b. nearly out of water. If hangry Monique is awful, hangry and thirsty Monique is a monster!

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On my way home, I stopped in Danvers at the Stop n Shop to grab a few groceries and lunch and made it back to my apartment early enough to have time to water my garden, blog, do laundry and get ready for dinner.

I went to dinner in Dorchester and was very surprised with how nice the restaurant was! When we walked in, the place looked dead, which generally makes me nervous, but as soon as we walked outside to the patio, we realized why the inside was empty: the back patio was awesome!! I was bummed when the server said they were out of the Miso Glazed Salmon, but when I took a bite of the Ahi Tuna Taco’s, I pretty much forgot about the salmon! I am so happy that the weather has cooled down a bit because outdoor dining in the summer is my favorite!

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(Pretty rainbow I saw when I was driving!)

All in all, it was a great, but busy weekend!

Questions for you: Do you like to make your own pizza? Favorite restaurant in Portsmouth? Do you feel like you sweat more in classes when it’s hot out even though they are indoors?

I want to wish my very dear friend, Sara, a very happy birthday!!!

Pedicure, Hair Appt & Christy’s Bachelorette Party in NH

As I mentioned yesterday, I had a busy weekend! I was literally in bed before 10pm on Friday night since I was so beat from the week and wanted to be rested for my busy Saturday. I slept like a freaking rock and woke up at 8 ready for the day! I headed to Brighton to teach my 3rd week in a row of Kickboxing. The members in that class are SO nice. One lady said that I must teach a good class if she’s made it to a Saturday class 3 weeks in a row- what a nice compliment! Ashley was also there, which was a nice treat:) Hope your dress fitting went well!!

After teaching, I showered quickly and headed to one of my old stand-by mani/pedi salon in Oak Square. Since moving to Somerville, I haven’t been able to find one that I like so I was happy to have time between teaching and my hair apt to get a pedi!

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I didn’t have time for a full mani, but they said they could quickly paint my nails. Talk about being pampered!

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From there, I headed into the city to get my hair cut at Mitchell John Salon. I love Janet, who cuts my hair, but didn’t love that she had gone up in price AGAIN. I’m going to have to start going back to Maine to get my hair done… it’s about a third of the price!

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#selfie 😉

Sheila and I carpooled to NH for Christy’s Bachelorette party. Christy’s fiancé has a beautiful, huge home in Hampton, NH so we all met up there to have apps and cocktails before dinner.

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I tried to stick to the veggies, but Kia brought her healthy spinach dip again so of course I chowed face on that too. Kia, you need to send me the recipe… or maybe guest blog!? Everyone would love it!

After we snacked a bit, we had Christy open all of the lingerie gifts we brought her. This was a really fun idea and it was nice that some people bought practical items and some bought silly ones 😉

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Before the driver came, we took a few pictures. Christy and AJ aren’t technically “SMC girls”, but they’ve been around with us for so long that we have adopted them.

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(Sheila, AJ, Christy, me and Kia)

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(Christy and her Maid of Honor, Kerri)

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(My girls! Kia Amy, Christy, me, Sheila, AJ. Sheila thought a prom pose was appropriate.)

The bridal party organized a lovely menu and dinner at Roberts in Kittery. I have driven by there a million times, but had never eaten there.

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I was happy that they set up a fixed prix menu for us… made the decision so much easier!

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I went with the Haddock and it was delicious and felt really light and healthy. Perfect meal for a night when you’re going out!

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The girls all got fun cocktails, Amy got a fun beer flight, but I was boring and stuck to Chardonnay! We had Margs and Sangria before we left the house, so that was my fill of fun drinks 😉

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After dinner, we headed into Portsmouth to start the festivities. No bachelorette party is complete without fun gear! Look how stinking cute Christy was!

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We started at an outdoor bar that was on a deck on the water. I didn’t know that Portsmouth had a whole line up of places on the water!

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From there, we decided to go to the back patio at Gas Light. My family has gone to the Gas Light so many times, but I had never been outside at night- it was a happening place!

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After that drink, we headed up to the 3rd floor which is basically a club. We went there after Rachel’s wedding and it was so fun… last night was no different!

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Whoops! 😉 No idea how that happened. It may look like we all got crazy, but I think everyone actually stayed in control! Sheil and I drank waters for the rest of the night- best.idea.ever. We couldn’t bring drinks on the dance floor anyway, and that’s where I wanted to be! So fun.

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Bars close at 1 so we had our driver get us around 12:45 and immediately snacked on all the apps leftover from before dinner. I hate drunk eating, but when you’re with all your girls and rehashing the night, it makes it worth it 🙂

Thanks for such a fun night ladies! Christy, cannot wait for your big day… it’s going to be a blast!

Questions for you: Do you have a lot of bachelorette parties this summer? What is your drink of choice when you’re at a bar? Favorite restaurant in Portsmouth?