Weekending: Taking time to relax

 

As I’ve mentioned a number of times, this holiday season I promised myself that I would slow down, try to stress less and learn how to say “no”. So far, I’ve actually been much better at it than I thought I would be. As I was looking through my calendar earlier this season, I realized that this past weekend was seemingly clear. I had already decided not to run the Somerville Jingle Bell 5K I always run, and no other parties had been planned yet. As I was chatting with Athena, she suggested I mark the weekend as a “no plans weekend”. Sadly, as soon as I did that, two parties came up (sorry Mary and Steph!!)… obviously this would happen!

I have to say, I fully enjoyed this past weekend where I had no real plans. Sure, we had lots of things we ended up doing or wanted to do, but the beauty of it was we were able to do it on our own schedule and if we decided to change plans or stay in or do dinner, it was our choice. I highly suggest taking weekends like this if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just that you don’t have enough time for yourself. I went into this week feeling so refreshed and ready for a much busier week.

Here are some highlights from the weekend- enjoy!

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  • Treating myself to a Chai Tea Latte at Starbucks thanks to a gift card that a sweet member gave me

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  • A pleasant car shopping experience at Acura. My lease is up in February so I’m in the market for something new!
  • A late lunch at Legal C Bar in Lynnfield

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  • Shopping around the M Street shops, getting some gifts and food shopping at Whole Foods.
  • A quiet night in, consisting of Christmas movies, wine & this delicious baked stuffed acorn squash.

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  • A lazy Sunday morning- breakfast, blogging & cleaning
  • More car shopping, another pleasant experience!
  • Sunday dinner at RM’s mother’s house. I was totally craving an authentic Italian meal (aka, I really wanted meatballs), so it worked out perfectly! I’m so lucky that I love his family and enjoy spending time with them.
  • Sunday night at my place. It was nice to meal prep and watch tv and be surrounded by my Christmas decorations!

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Questions for you: When’s the last time you said “no” in favor of relaxing and doing nothing? Do you often over-book yourself? What was the best part of your weekend?

Boston Restaurant Roundup: Part 1 {Downtown Boston}

It’s no surprise that I love to go out to lunch or dinner or even just for drinks, right? I love trying new places or foods or drinks and then sharing that information with all of you who read this little blog. I especially love when you guys ask me for restaurant recommendations, so I thought that I would make it a little easier for you and give you my Boston Restaurant Roundup so you can have access to all my favorite restaurants in a few different posts. I originally wanted to put everything in one post, but as I started to list out the various restaurants I’ve been to, I realized I’ve been to A LOT of different places all around Boston. Putting them into one post would’ve just been too long, so here is your first installment of my “Boston Restaurant Roundup”, which includes restaurants in Downtown Boston (Fanuel Hall, Financial District and Downtown Crossing).

Faneuil Hall/Financial District

  • Anthem– I have talked about Anthem a number of times on here, so it’s no surprise that it’s the first place I list. They are located right in the heart of Faneuil Hall, have a good wine and cocktail menu and a terrific food menu. It’s great for outdoor dining in the summer and the bar area is great for indoor people watching in the winter/colder months. If you go, you MUST, I repeat, MUST get the fondue! It is the absolute best.

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  • Granary Tavern– This is another place with a similar vibe to Anthem. I have to say that the prices are a little better and I like their wines more, so sometimes we choose this place over Anthem. It’s located on Atlantic Ave, so it’s still close to shopping and bar hopping. They’ve got some terrific salads and pizza’s and a great outdoor patio area for summer dining.

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  • Sakurabana– If you’re looking for Sushi in this area, I definitely suggest Sakurabana. The fish has always been really fresh and colorful and they have brown rice options. This is a really popular lunch place, and although it’s never busy for dinner, it’s wroth a trip. I think I’ve been there 3 times in the past 2 months. If you have a gluten allergy or intolerance, they accommodate that, too!

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  • Society on High– I went here for after work drinks and loved the atmosphere. They had a great bar area and lots of high-top tables to sit at around the bar. They also had an absolutely delicious Sauvignon Blanc that I may or may not have had 3 glasses of… on a Tuesday! 😉 We ended up getting some apps and really loved the fish tacos and shrimp cocktail. I’ve been trying to get back there ever since.

Downtown Crossing

  • Stoddards– I haven’t eaten here, but my sister, Amy and I had a girls night there a few months ago and loved the bar area. We ended up downstairs, but they have an area upstairs, too. I’ve heard that the food is good, I just haven’t had a chance to get back there to try it.
  • 49 Social– Danielle, Amy and I went across the street from Stoddards for dinner at 49 Social. While this is a little more of an ‘upscale” place compared to Stoddards, it wasn’t TOO stuffy. We tried to sit at the bar area since it was certainly more casual there, but they were full so we had to go upstairs. The regular menu looked wonderful, but we were more in the mood for munchy food and asked if we could order from the bar menu- no problem at all! Everything we had was absolutely delicious- I highly recommend trying this place.
  • Sip– I recently went with my friend Lisa and we enjoyed countless drinks and a few food dishes and left there completely satisfied. I still dream about the tacos and mushroom pizza with truffle oil. The fact that you can choose what size glass of wine you want is also a really fun thing- it gives you a chance to do a tasting “flight” of various wines. The prices are also very reasonable.

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  • Gem– This triples as a great dinner spot, lively after dinner drink spot and a great post dinner drink spot. Trust me on this- I’ve done all three 😉 We did dinner first (a while ago as one of our girls nights) and loved it. We shared a salad and a flatbread and lots of wine (they have a heavy pour!). Recently, we went for after dinner drinks and loved the scene. It’s certainly not a “casual” atmosphere (more clubby than casual Boston bars), but if you’re looking for a time to get dressed up, it’s a great place to go!

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So, there you have it! Your first installment of my “Boston Restaurant Roundup”. Next up will be Southie/Seaport District and East Boston. There are lots of good places in those locations!

Questions for you: Have you been to any of these places? Did I miss any/are there any that I should try? I’m always looking to expand my restaurant repertoire, so share your favorites in the comments section!