Weekending: Friendsgiving, SoulCycle, sweetgreens & Taco Night

Good morning! Well, here we are- Thanksgiving is on THURSDAY. Can you believe it?! I have Wednesday-Friday off so last night barely felt like a Sunday night knowing I only had 2 days of work before an extra long weekend 🙂 We had a really great weekend, so let’s get to recapping it!

Friday

I went food shopping on my way home after work on Friday- how exciting, right?! Once I got home and unpacked, RM and I enjoyed a glass of wine while catching up and throwing around options for dinner. We ended up walking to Bertucci’s, but sadly our meal was just OK- the pizza was just not nearly as good as I remembered it being. I hate that!

Saturday

We had a lazy start to our Saturday until it was time for me to go teach at the Y. It was a really fun class and for some reason my energy was off the charts so I hope I didn’t scare any new members away 😉

IMG_3032

After teaching, I showered and headed to Queen Bee Nails to get my nails done. I had a free manicure coupon and decided to upgrade and get a shellac since I wanted nice nails for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving and dress shopping. I thought this color was very festive for this time of year.

IMG_3045

Once I got home, I got busy in the kitchen. I agreed to bring Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes and homemade cranberry sauce so I had lots of things to make! For the Brussels sprouts I just sautéed them in EVOO and added salt, pepper and 1 clove of chopped garlic. I also added pancetta which adds a great salty & crunchy combination to the dish. Athena left a suggestion on my Five on Friday post for a homemade cranberry sauce, so I checked it out and decided to make it. I loved that it was so easy to throw together! The only things I changed were adding more water, I put all of the orange peels in it and added a little bit of regular and coconut sugar because it was still a bit too tart for my liking (I think I had more cranberries than her recipe called for). It was super tasty!

IMG_3047 IMG_3046

In the early afternoon, RM and I got gussied up and headed into the South End to meet up with all of my friends.

FullSizeRender

Saturday night out is always more fun with leather pants on 😉

My friend Amy’s brother has an incredible pent house apartment above Boston Chops and graciously let us host our gathering there (he plays hockey in Canada so he wasn’t there anyway).

IMG_3050

We had a blast chatting and drinking wine and eating. The food was incredible- everyone did a really great job with the dishes they were assigned!

IMG_3054 IMG_3049

IMG_3058

I feel so blessed to have so many wonderful friends in my life- these ladies are the best of the best!

Sunday

Needless to say, I woke up with a bit of a wine headache on Sunday so I had breakfast and then snuggled up on the couch with our new book club book for a while before I went to spin.

IMG_3059

Has anyone read this? I’m only about 100 pages in, but I’m enjoying it so far!

SoulCycle often sends out emails to take complimentary classes, I assume to help boost numbers for some of their lower attendance classes, but generally I can’t take part in them because they’re usually on really off times. This time, though, they had a Sunday 4pm class on the list, but when I called it was already full so they let me take the 11:45am class instead, which actually worked out better. I felt bad for the people next to me as I likely sweat out pure wine 😉 The class was really fun and the instructor, Jeff, had lots of energy! Per usual, I didn’t think the class itself was that hard- I don’t know what it is about the classes there, but I never think they are as hard as they are at other studios. Where I think they do step it up is the party atmosphere, which is what makes the classes so fun!

IMG_3060

After class I went next door to have lunch at sweet green- a little Sunday treat 🙂

IMG_3061

I did a make your own salad with kale, cucumber, broccoli, carrots and spicy quinoa and a side of their butternut squash which was not great- it was so thin and watery! The salad was fantastic, though.

When I got home, RM was snuggled up watching American Sniper so I decided to join him. It was a cold, rainy afternoon so it was a perfect thing to do! After the movie we went to Whole Foods to pick up a few additional staples for the week and for our taco dinner. We had a piece of steak in the freezer so RM took it out and suggested we slice it and put it in tacos. He’s full of good ideas sometimes 😉 To go along with it, I made a super easy salsa (red pepper, tomato, red onion, pineapple, lime juice- everything chopped really small and then throw half of it into a food processor to give it more of a salsa consistency.

IMG_3063

I also made a avocado “sauce” made up of all sorts of random things we had lying around (I didn’t have sour cream or greek yogurt so I had to get creative): 1/2 avocado, 1 scoop of hummus, 1 scoop of goat cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, ~2 tbsp. EVOO and 1/8-1/4 cup of vegetable broth. Surprisingly, it came out great and was perfect to top the steak with.

IMG_3062

RM cooked the steak in butter and with salt and pepper- so delicious!

IMG_3064

It was a such a yummy Sunday night dinner! We both were pleasantly surprised by how well everything came together- even with using Ezekiel wraps instead of corn tortillas.

IMG_3066

YUM!

And that does it for us- All in all it was a great weekend filled with good food, great friends, fun exercise and lots of relaxation!

Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? What did you do? Did you get in any good workouts? Hang out with friends? What are you making for Thanksgiving?

Weekending: Review through pictures

Good morning! Did you guys have a good weekend? We sure did- here’s a glimpse 🙂

  • I had to go to Milwaukee Thursday-Friday, which was a really nice trip. I wasn’t sure Milwaukee would be anything that exciting, but I have to say I really loved the little city! It was a much quieter city than I’m used to, but it was still really cool! I stayed right downtown and was within walking distance to the river walk and lots of cool restaurants and shopping.

IMG_2845 IMG_2853

  • I made sure to get in workouts while I was gone, too 🙂 One strength one and then one quickie bodyweight hotel room workout one- I’ll share both with you soon!

IMG_2850

Hotel room bodyweight workout

  • I met my sister at a new restaurant in Watertown called Branch Line. It’s right near her new office and close to me, plus the owners of Eastern Standard (one of my favorite Boston restaurants) started it so I couldn’t wait to try it out. The verdict? LOVED IT! We only got drinks and their fried cheese bites, but the whole experience was very good and RM and I plan on going back for dinner since their menu looked intriguing!

IMG_2862 IMG_2861

  • RM and I ended up going to Stellina for dinner which was where we went to dinner the night we got engaged! The food was great, although I didn’t take any pictures 😉
  • Saturday we lounged in the morning. It was weird to be around with no plans AND no teaching. Rather than rushing out for the gym, I decided to hang around and get all my house chores done first. We had people over on Saturday night so I wanted to prep the chili and dessert and clean/pick up. I finally went to SoulCycle for a 1pm class. It was a good class, but not the hardest I’ve been to, or as much of a party as SC usually is. Oh well!
  • I had time to relax when I got back so I caught up on Greys anatomy while sharing a beer with RM.

IMG_2866

  • Our dinner party was a blast! I made a sweet potato turkey chili which was a hit, a cheese and prosciutto board, guacamole and a batch of these delicious Paleo Pumpkin Bars. I added in chocolate chips and pumpkin spice chips and they came out SO GOOD! Along with these treats, RM’s sister-in-law Emily brought a tasty apple crisp and Amanda brought a fantastic brie/pecans/craisin ball. Oh, and lots of wine 😉

IMG_2867

  • Sunday we made our way to NH to go look at another venue and while we liked it, we were kind of turned off by how far lodging was from the venue so I’m not sure we will pursue it further. Oh well.
  • We were staving when we got back so we heated up chili and other treats from Saturday night and had a medley sort of lunch. While RM watch/snoozed through the Patriots game, I whipped up some lemon blueberry muffins from his Practical Paleo cookbook (we are trying to incorporate more paleo-like meals these days). They came out pretty good!

IMG_2868

  • After I finished my book/the Patriots game was over, I coerced RM into going to Marshall’s and Target with me. We are on the hunt for a new dining room table and living room chair and I wanted him to see some of the things I was digging. Love this table from Target:

IMG_2859

  • Although I was really craving pizza or something like that, we opted for a healthier dinner and had chicken thighs, kale, mashed sweet potatoes and butternut squash and for some reason, everything came out SO GOOD. Nothing fancy, but so tasty. (I snapped a pic halfway through).

IMG_2870

All in all, a great weekend filled with friends and family, relaxation and productivity. Oh, and wine. Definitely wine 😉

Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? Have you tried out any new restaurants? What’s the coolest city you’ve traveled to? Did you get in any good workouts? Any good meals?

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.

IMG_1666

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!

IMG_1670

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!

IMG_1672

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!

IMG_1675

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.

IMG_1676 IMG_1677 IMG_1682 IMG_1692 IMG_1693 IMG_1695

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!

IMG_1700

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!

IMG_1698 IMG_1699

(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!

IMG_1705

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.

IMG_1711 IMG_1712 IMG_1713 IMG_1714

Sunday morning started with a fantastic bunch of healthy pancakes.

IMG_1715

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?

Celebrating my 30th with my first SoulCycle experience

You guys. To say I was spoiled for my 30th is an understatement. I’ll do a full recap later, but today I want to share my first SoulCyle experience with you. I have been invited to a few blogger events there, but for one reason or another was never able to make it. For my birthday, my sister suggested taking 1/2 days and going to a class somewhere of my choice followed by lunch (our favorite sister date activities!). I looked around at some of my favorite indoor cycling studios (for more reviews of studios I’ve been to, check here: Reviews: Boston Fitness Studios) but none seemed to have classes around lunch time. Then it hit me: I hadn’t tried SoulCycle yet! And when I looked at their class times, they had a 12:30 which was perfect!

IMG_0876

While they offer a discounted first class (and free shoe rental for your first time), when I spoke with them and they learned it was my birthday and that I was a fitness blogger, they provided the class free of charge for my sister and me. How sweet was that?! I was so thankful for that gesture. I think it says a lot about a company when they do things like this! Anyway…. we went to Charolette’s 12:30pm class and it was amazing. Her energy, the vibe she created in the room, the music, her words of motivation. If it sounds like a I have a girl crush on her, I think it’s because I kinda do 😉 As an instructor, I can be overly critical of other instructors, but I literally only have good things to say about Charolette’s class.

IMG_0877

On top of that, the welcome desk staff were so good at bike set-ups for my sister and me. Not only did they spend more than 30 seconds making sure all of the adjustments were correct, they explained WHY they were putting the handlebars/seat at certain numbers. It was very helpful!

IMG_0878

So… the ride! It was a 45 minute class which felt like 20 minutes, and also like a party. I couldn’t believe how fast it went by! We did a lot of songs in 3rd position which I enjoy since the seat hurts my butt (and, I sit all day anyway I don’t like to sit more in class!). We varied from slower paced with more resistance to lighter resistance and faster pace. Charolette didn’t instruct us on changing our intensity very often, but my sister and I think it’s because she was encouraging us to find our own ride- whether that was to be challenging or more laid back. I kind of liked that approach, which is surprising for a Type A, play by the rules, want to know everything type of person. I don’t often go by “feel”, so it was a nice change of pace. It wasn’t the hardest class I’ve ever taken, but it was perfect for what I wanted that day, especially because spinning is not my forte and I prefer classes where I can keep up 😉

We did do 1 arm song,which I didn’t think was terribly challenging, I think because it was a lot of bicep/tricep work which isn’t as hard as shoulder work (for me, anyway). Other than that, we did the usual booty taps and pushups and crunches on the bike- all things I love! And, the icing on the cake (literally)? A surprise from the team with a cupcake from Sweet Cupcake!

IMG_0891

I mean, how sweet (pun intended) was that?! I nearly cried! They made me feel so special 🙂

And riding next to my sister and birthday buddy, Jess, was the absolute best!

IMG_0880 IMG_0884

On top of offering a fantastic class, SoulCycle has two fully stocked shower rooms- including towels, shampoo/conditioner/shower gel, razors and all the post shower hair products you could need.

IMG_0885

I love when studios offer this little bit of luxury. Since the classes are often pricy, it’s nice to make a full experience out of it- workout, shower, post workout meal/drinks… or, at least that’s what my sister and I do!

Thank you so much to SoulCycle for making my birthday SO special- I can’t wait to come back, and luckily for me, our friends Brad and Amanda gave me a gift card for my birthday so I’ll be back sooner than later 🙂

Questions for you: Have you been to SoulCycle? Where’s your favorite indoor cycling studio? What’s your ideal day?

 

This Week: Workouts, Dallas Recap & Things I’m Looking Forward To

Good morning! Happy Monday, everyone! How are you? I hope you had a great weekend! Did you see the weather for this week?? Looks like we are finally going to have some mild temps… yes!

As I mentioned last week, I was in Dallas for Monday-Wednesday. We stayed in Grapevine at the Gaylord Texan, wch was a gorgeous resort! It was a really good trip filled with lots of networking, lots of Mexican food, some drinking and the chance to catch up with my friend JP! We hadn’t hung out since November, so it was so good to see him!

dallas

I also got in a good hotel room, body weight tabata workout as well as a killer biceps and back workout with my friend Tim. I was literally sore for 4 days- no joke.

Last Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I got up before my early flight and did a 30 minute tabata workout including weighted squats, weighted lunges, bicep curls, triceps extension and core work. It was good!
  • Tuesday- I got up and did a 30 minute body weight tabata workout (I guess I was loving tabata workouts last week..) and then Tim and I went to the gym in the afternoon for a 45 minute strength workout. I was able to do 1 unassisted pull-up, which I was happy about! We did 3 or 4 different back exercises and then 3 bicep exercises and finally I lead us through some core exercises. It was a great workout.
  • Wednesday- I had all intentions of waking up to workout before the morning session, but I was seriously SO tired. I didn’t get drunk or crazy, but I was up late Monday and Tuesday so it caught up to me on Wednesday. I squeezed in 15 minutes of core work before the day started.
  • Thursday- I taught SHRED and Kickboxing. I felt so lethargic in both classes- 3 days of eating and drinking like crap, on top of not sleeping enough doesn’t mesh well with me.
  • Friday- I got up and went to Flywheel for a morning class, but sadly, it wasn’t great. The room was less than half full, I was physically tired and I wasn’t a fan of the instructor. She was very sweet, but she didn’t have the natural energy/teaching style that I like to see in instructors. She seemed shy or maybe she was just new and nervous? I rarely say this, but I wish I had skipped it. Oh well, can’t win them all!

IMG_6694

  • Saturday- I went to a 2 Spartan Workout with a bunch of gym friends. I was pretty beat by the end!

IMG_7059

  • Sunday- I taught a 9am UXF Burn class at the Allston BSC. I didn’t want to do the workout, but I ended up doing most of it. I just get excited when I teach so it’s hard for me to not do any of the workout.

This Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I am teaching Muscle work at 6am today and then going to 5:30pm Pilates Remix class at Boston Body Pilates using my ClassPass. My membership is up this week and I still had a few passes left that I didn’t want to lose, I needed to double up today!
  • Tuesday– I am training Kerri at 7am and then I am going to a Pilates Tower class at Studio J after work. I’m excited to try it!
  • Wednesday- I’ll probably run on the treadmill before teaching UXF Burn.
  • Thursday- Teaching SHRED and Kickboxing
  • Friday- Rest day 🙂
  • Saturday- Teaching kickboxing at the Oak Square YMCA
  • Sunday- I am going to a blogger ride at SoulCycle which I am SO excited about!!

Things I’m Looking Forward To

I’m excited to have a week where I don’t have a lot going on after work. It will be nice to have the flexibility and know I don’t have to pack for multiple events. I’m also looking forward to the weekend- SoulCycle AND a Red Sox game in the same day makes for a super fun Sunday 😉 A bunch of my college friends and significant others are going to a day game on Sunday… I just hope it’s relatively warm… and not raining!

Questions for you: What was the best workout you had last week? Did you try anything new? What are you looking forward to this week? Have you been to SoulCycle?