Weekend Eats & Drinks

Good morning! Our weekend was relatively low-key, but it was filled with some good eats, drinks and restaurant visits so I figured that was worth sharing- enjoy!

Friday

My company always does pizza lunches before big sport games, so last Friday was no exception. I haven’t been in the office to reap the benefits of any of the recent pizza luncheons so it was a nice treat for me this past Friday! I always take a whole plate of salad (if available) and start with that because it ensures I get in some veggies and it helps to subside most of my initial hunger before inhaling 3 pieces of pizza and then feeling sick from stuffing my face with too much pizza!

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I had some gift cards to use at Hopsters so we went there for pizza, salad and drinks for dinner… you know it’s a good day when you have pizza for lunch AND dinner! We got the sausage and arugula pizza and the beet and goat cheese salad- both were fantastic!

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Saturday

After an incredibly hard yoga sculpt class at CorePower (no seriously, it was so hard!!), I met up with my sister and friend Jessi at Loco in Southie for lunch to chat about my bachelorette party. While the margaritas were awesome, I picked the wrong food entrée. The waitress suggested the burrito so I took her suggestion, but it had too many big potatoes and not enough meat… not to mention it was served WITH potatoes. Thankfully my sister shared some of her burger with me which was really good. We ran into one of my friends from work which was such a fun addition to the lunch!

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For dinner, we decided to make some quesadillas. I kept it basic with just peppers and onions and leftover coconut crusted chicken. They were SO good and successfully kicked my Mexican craving that was not satisfied at lunch.

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Oh, and bubbly. Snowy nights most definitely call for bubbly… but then again, I’m not sure what nights DON’T call for bubbly 😉

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Side Note: We finally started to watch Breaking Bad- have any of you watched that show? So far it’s a little intense for my liking, but I’m giving it a shot! We are only 4 episodes in.

Sunday

In traditional Sunday morning fashion, I whipped us up some healthy pancakes first thing. It was another great batch and we think it’s almost time for me to perfect the recipe and share it with all of you! I added raspberries to some of mine and it was a very tasty addition.

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We ended up having RM’s brother and sister-in-law over for the game so I set out some healthy-ish snack food while we waited for the wings to cook. We made two kinds: baked buffalo and then slow cooker honey garlic and I have to say, the buffalo stole the show for most of us! I also made some chocolate chip banana bread bars which were a big hit.

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And that about does it! I hope you all have a great week- and be on the lookout for some exciting news that I’m sharing on Friday!

Questions for you: Where is your favorite pizza place? Did you go out to eat at all this weekend? Where do you go for Mexican food? What did you do for the game?

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Weekending: A busy, but relaxing weekend {Tia’s, visitors, beach day, Bostonia, soaking up the sun}

Hi there! How are you today? Anyone have this week off? I’m hoping to take Thursday off, which would be a nice addition to the long weekend!

If you’ve been reading B2B for a while, you’ve probably noticed how busy I’ve been- both during the week and on the weekends. This past weekend, although I had a lot of plans and did a lot, was relaxing on it’s own because I didn’t have multiple back to back plans that required me to hop around a lot. Besides Friday night, the rest of my weekend was totally mine for the taking, and it was the best feeling!!

Friday Night

My friend, Tim, was in town for a conference so we were able to align our schedules for Friday night. We tried to get a few more co-workers (former co-workers for me) to join us, but it didn’t work out. My sister ended up being around, so it was fun to have her join us! We started out at Tia’s because it’s the best place for after work drinks in the summer.

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I had zero intentions of going “out-out”, but between the weather, it being a Friday and being out with my sister and Tim, it ended up being a bit of an “out-out” night. Whoops! 😉 After Tia’s, we headed to Granary Tavern for a drink then to Warehouse for the last drinks. Although I woke up on Saturday feeling like I had had one too many wines, it was totally worth it!

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Saturday

After kickboxing on Saturday morning, I treated myself to a much-needed pedicure.

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Once I got home, I packed up and headed to meet my sister and her friends at a beach in Southie. I was expecting a bit of a sh*t-show beach scene with lots of loud, drunken people, but I was pleasantly surprised by how quiet and calm it was!

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After a brief nap, I agreed to a Bud Light Lime- I’m not a big beer drinker, and definitely not a Bud Light person, but there’s something about BLL’s that I just love so much! Perfect beach drink if you ask me 😉

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Saturday night was date night for RM and me. He had a gift card to Bostonia Public House, so we figured it was a perfect night to try it out. He parks at the Intercontinental Hotel and when we realized how nice it was outside, we decided to swing by their outdoor bar for a cocktail before dinner.

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We joked that it felt like we were back in Miami- I had been at the beach all day and he had been golfing and we were catching up over cocktails at a hotel bar. It was a fun “staycation” night!

Dinner at Bostonia was amazing!! We, of course, shared a few different things: Organic Baby Spinach Salad, Berber Spiced Pork Ribs, French Fries (I was craving them!) and the Scallops. They’ve got a whole Gluten Free menu which was a nice surprise!

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Everything was absolutely delicious! We both found ourselves continuously raving about the food with each bite! I don’t usually eat to being really full, but that night I left there with a very full, and very happy belly!

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Such a fun date-night! I loved being able to be out and about in the city!

Sunday

I ended up sleeping until 9, which is unheard of for me! It felt amazing 🙂 Once up, I did some yoga and core work before having a protein pancake breakfast with RM (gluten and dairy free).

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After breakfast, we went for a nice, 45 minute walk throughout Eastie. It’s a nice little thing we’ve been doing- we don’t need to be sitting on the couch all the time- a little extra is always a good thing 🙂

Later in the day we went to his brother and sister in law’s new condo to use the community pool and then had a delicious BBQ at his mom’s house. It was a perfect Sunday… and weekend, for that matter!

Questions for you: What did you do this weekend? Where’s your favorite summer bar in Boston? Have you been to Bostonia Public House?

Ps! My gym friend/in real life friend/blog friend, Athena got engaged over the weekend and I couldn’t be more happy for her and Tim! They are such a great couple:) congrats again, lady!!!

Boston Restaurant Roundup: Part 2 {Seaport District/Southie & East Boston}

Did you miss my first “Boston Restaurant Roundup” post? If so, check it out here. In that post you can find lots of restaurants in the downtown Boston area, including Faneuil Hall, Financial District and Downtown Crossing.

As far as this post goes, we are moving out of downtown Boston to some of the more “up and coming” areas in Boston: Seaport District/Southie and East Boston. While these are a little more on the outskirts of the city, they are super trendy right now and draw masses of people. Here are some of my favorite restaurants in these areas- enjoy!

Seaport District

  • Row 34 is not only my favorite restaurant in the area, but probably my favorite restaurant in Boston right now. I was taken there for my birthday and have wanted to go back ever since! The décor is amazing, they’ve got a great beer (with gluten free options!) and wine list and are known for their Oyster selection. The rest of the options on the menu were just as good as the shellfish appetizers we tried. The only downside is that it is always really busy, so getting a reservation can be tough.

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  • Trade– I haven’t eaten there, but the drinks are really, really good! It’s also in a great location and has a funky style to it. The downside is that the drinks are pricey, but if you’re going for just one before dinner plans, it’s perfect!

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  • Miel– This is a French restaurant located in the Intercontinental and it’s my favorite French restaurant in Boston. I’ve only been for lunch, but every time I’ve been it’s been awesome! From their fancy salads to sliders to French sandwiches and French Onion Soup, the taste and presentation is terrific. They’ve got a really nice patio area on the water, too, which is always a plus!

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Southie

  • Lincoln– I have had dinner and brunch at Lincoln and both times I was pleasantly surprised by the food. It’s known as a “hot spot” for late-night drinking, but it’s worth a visit during meal time, too. They have a “bucket of bubbly” that is a really popular item for brunch, and they were very accommodating to gluten/dairy intolerances when I went there for dinner. If you plan on going there for your night out, I suggest getting there early (like 9pm early) or going for dinner beforehand, otherwise you’ll be in line for a long time.

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  • Stephi’s in Southie– My sister and I went there for brunch on New Year’s Day and were really pleased with the decision. They’ve got a huge bar area, as well as an open dining area, too. The wine was very affordable and the dishes had interesting and really delicious ingredients in them. I still want to go back for dinner!

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  • Moko– My sister just moved to Southie and this restaurant is right down the street from her apartment. We finally decided to go earlier this week and I was really satisfied with the menu options and the quality of the fish! I don’t often have a hard time deciding what roll I want to order, but at Moko there were so many delicious options that I really struggled! I settled on a crazy spicy roll and when I asked to have them do it without tempura, it was no problem at all. I love when restaurants are accommodating to food requests. Though the rolls were not cheap, the wine was! I got a glass of Kendall Jackson Chardonnay for $9, which I think is a great deal. I definitely suggest visiting this little hole in the wall sushi restaurant if you’re in Southie.

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East Boston (aka, Eastie)

  • Santarpio’s– I’m sure this comes as no surprise, right?! Whenever I tell people I live in Southie, the two things they most commonly ask is if I’ve been to Santarpio’s and/or Rino’s. While I haven’t been to Rino’s (yet!), I have been to Santarpio’s a number of times and each time it has lived up to the hype everyone gives it. The pizza is absolutely delicious (the pepperoni, garlic and hot peppers is my favorite), the meat skewers are always worth getting (sausage is my favorite) and the waiters/service is worth a trip on its own! It’s certainly a “no frills” type of place, but the drinks are cheap and the food is great.

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  • Ecco– Ecco is located across the street from Santarpio’s and is actually owned by the same owners. I’ve been there for drinks a few times and dinner once and each experience was really good. The drink menu has some fun options and their taco trio plate is delicious! I’ve heard that they have a back patio, too, so it’s a great place to go when the weather is nice.

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  • KO Catering and Pies– My Eastie friends Pat and Colleen told me about this place and then the boy and I went there on our first date! What I love about it is that it’s almost on the water (it’s in the seaport district) and has outside picnic tables, pitchers of beer, live music and drinking games (corn toss, etc.). The food isn’t to be overlooked, though, as it seemingly reflects authentic Australian meat pies. I got a “floater” which means it’s a meat pie topped with mashed potatoes and gravy and it was to die for! I’m big on messy foods and this fit the bill perfectly. I can’t wait to go back this summer!

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  • Prima e Dopo– This is owned by the people who own Rino’s and was opened to accommodate the masses of people waiting hours for a table at Rino’s. It’s a small place, but they have wine (on tap!), beer and spirits, as well as a small menu. I went with my upstairs neighbor, Lisa, and my sister on Valentine’s day and we had the meatballs, pizza and something else that was a cheesy/saucy dish. I’ve also had the shrimp scampi bruschetta and everything was SO GOOD! The prices are also great.

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  • Angela’s Café– My friends Pat and Colleen also introduced me to this place- a little hidden gem Mexican restaurant. We went for brunch and I got the Mexican Breakfast Burrito and it was so good! I’ve heard that their margarita’s are also super tasty… I still haven’t had a chance to get back there to try them, though. Since they have outside seating, I’m sure I’ll make my way there some night after work for one this summer.

I think that does it for places I’ve gone to and enjoyed in the Seaport/Southie/Eastie areas of the city. Did I miss any/do you have any suggestions for places I should try? Have you been to any of these places? Wine on tap- love it or think it’s gross? Where’s your favorite pizza place?

Weekending: Gym friends, Southie, How to prepare for a busy week

My weekend recap is a little late this week, but it was a good one, so it’s better late than never, right? Although I was super tired on Friday night, I was excited to head to Needham for a gym friends party. A gym friends party, you might ask? What is that? Well, it’s when a bunch of gym-going, gym-loving ladies get together to eat good food, drink good wine and share horror funny class stories (most of us are instructors, so we’ve got stories for dayssss). Athena wrote up a really nice post about why she loves gym friends and I couldn’t agree more. It’s funny because when I was telling my mom about it on Saturday, I used the same exact “they just ‘get’ me” line that she used in her post. gym friends (photo credit: Athena!)

On top of good company, I love gym friend parties because the food is always delicious… and usually healthy! There were so many different appetizer treats to snack on- I was a happy camper 😉 IMG_6833 I brought a dessert treat that I came up with fairly quickly. Could’ve been a hit or miss, but, luckily, it seemed to be a hit. I’ll share it with you soon, but here’s a sneak peak: IMG_6829

I had so many people to catch up with! These girls all frequent the Oak Square YMCA as their “home” gym and get to see each other at least a few times of week, but I only see them every other Saturday if they come to my class. Womp. Needless to say, the wine was flowing, conversation was non-stop and before we knew it, it was time to do the Pink-themed Yankee Swap!

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I put together a cute little “relaxing night in” package which had an OPI 4 color sampler nail polish package, a candle and a bottle of wine. I wouldn’t have been mad if I went home with that, although I was SO HAPPY to go home with a stability ball. It’s been on my list of things to buy for a while now (for exercise and to use as my chair when I work from home), I just keep forgetting to get one. Problem solved!

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Big thanks to Liz for having us and thanks to all the girls for being such fun gym friends!!

Saturday started off my favorite way: kickboxing. Even better, was knowing a bunch of girls from Friday night would be there… they asked for burpees and I aim to please 😉

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The rest of my Saturday was busy with lunch plans and then going to Southie to see my sister’s new apartment. Her roommate, Amy, bought a condo in Southie and they moved in on Friday night. I was a bad sister and didn’t visit until Saturday night, but I did come bearing gifts of Prosecco, Bud Light and an AMEX gift card, so I think that counts for something, right?! 😉 We grabbed dinner and drinks at The Playwright Bar since it’s literally a 3 minute walk from their new place. I am so jealous that they are so close to so many fun places!

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Another friend from home met us out, which was a nice surprise!

Sunday was a busy day. I wasn’t home for more than 5 minutes all day on Saturday, so I didn’t have time to do anything on my to-do list. But you know what? I survived. Funny thing about that! Between laundry, baking, cooking, grocery shopping, blogging, making workout videos and prepping for a busy week… Sunday was over in a flash!

I knew my week was going to be crazy busy between teaching 7 classes, going to the ClassPass launch, going to a wine tasting, etc., so I spent some time on Sunday prepping for the week to make it a little easier! I wanted to share some things I do to help make a busier week go a little more smoothly, especially when I have to be up and out of the house super early to teach in the morning.

How to prepare for a busy week

1. Food prep!! I can’t stress this enough. I don’t have the money to buy lunch out every day (or the snacks), so prepping my salads, fruit, snacks, etc. on Sunday night makes the world of a difference.

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Since I needed to be up and out the door by 5:30 on Monday, I even had to pack breakfast!

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Nothing exciting, but it did the trick!

2. Plan my outfit the night before. And, for me, it meant packing it up in my gym bag since I had to get ready for work at the gym.

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3. Plan my workout that I’m going to teach. If I don’t plan something out, I’ll keep thinking about it, so it’s better to just write it out and be done with it.

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4. Make a meal that can be reheated throughout the week, especially for the nights I get home late (pretty much every night this week). This ensures that I have a healthy, well balanced meal that I can eat within 5 minutes of walking through the door. What can I say? I get hangry!

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5. Go to bed early. There’s no better way to end the weekend and start the week than getting a good nights rest. I’m not used to getting up on Monday mornings in the 5 o’clock hour, so that will certainly take some getting used to, but having everything literally ready for me as soon as I wake up makes it easier!

Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? Do you have a group of friends that “get” you? How do you prepare for a busy week? Do you plan ahead and do prep work to make it easier or just go with the flow?

Being snowed in, afternoon cocktails and Cards Against Humanity (aka, best game ever)

Did the cold weather and snow ruin anyone’s plans on Friday night? I kind of liked being snowed in and was fully prepared to drink wine by myself until my upstairs neighbor ended up being around and joining me. I have no problem drinking some wine by myself, but it’s always nice to have someone to drink it with, too 😉

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Especially when she comes with cookies in hand 🙂

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Don’t worry, before I enjoyed one of them I had some homemade pizza. I used whole wheat dough, which I don’t always do, and it wasn’t bad!

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Saturday started off with a super sweaty kickboxing class and then I met up with a friend for afternoon cocktails at The Kinsale in Boston. I had never been there before, but I’ve been to the Asgard, which is their sister restaurant. It was a nice way to spend a cold Saturday afternoon!

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I went over to my sister and Amy’s apartment after and got to snuggle my little Zeke, who is not so little anymore. I can’t get enough of his cuteness!

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Cards Against Humanity

Ok, so have any of you played this game? I first heard of it when I went to Chicago and JP had us play, but now it seems as though everyone is equally as obsessed with it. If you’ve played, then you know why. It’s very similar to Apples to Apples, but I like it better because it’s a little edgier and just has funnier cards. I’m not a very funny person, but somehow I came in second place- a total shocker!

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I want to buy this game because it’s literally the best game to play with a crowd of people. You get to know everyone pretty well after a few rounds 😉

After a number of rounds of CAH, I went to The Playwrite Bar in Southie with my sister and some of her St. Michael’s friends. I stayed for a few drinks and called it a night before I got to the point where I’d have a hangover on Sunday 😉

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On Sunday, I started out my day with some serious puttering. I cleaned, did laundry, changed my sheets and took down all my Christmas decorations- womp, womp 😦 Does anyone else ever feel a little sad/depressed when it’s time to take down Christmas decorations? I wasn’t ready to do it, but as it was already January 5th, it was time.

I also went grocery shopping (drove to Market Basket and immediately turned around and left. It wasn’t worth facing the masses of people to save a few bucks.), worked out and made a delicious dinner! Remember that Spaghetti Squash Casserole I made a while back? I made another one, but this time with different (colorful!) veggies and chicken sausage. The verdict? Amazing. I love eating a super healthy meal on Sunday nights because it sets me on the right path for the rest of the week. My goal is to also cut back on week night drinking again. It seems I’ve had at least a glass of wine probably 5 out of the 7 days in a week lately, which is fine, but I’m ready to cut back!

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I hope you all had a great weekend, too! Here’s to a new week- what are you doing to make it great? Have you ever played Cards Against Humanity? When do you take down your Christmas decorations?

P.S.- Get excited- I’ve got a new, little January fitness challenge going up on the blog tomorrow!! Hint: it involves burpees 😉

P.P.S.- Do you Uber? If not, it’s the best way to get around the city. They’re running a promotion right now, and if you use this code as a first time user, you’ll get a $20 credit after your first ride. That’s a great deal!! Code: zjbnz