Weekending: Playing Hookie, Engagement Photos, Birthday Party & Enjoying the Weather!

Good morning! I know everyone is talking about the weather, but I mean, common- is it really this warm in FEBRUARY?! I’ll take it, though. If there isn’t going to be snow I don’t really want frigid cold temps.

Did you guys have a good weekend? Although I was feeling a little anxious going into it because of how many plans we had, it ended up being such a great one! My sister and I decided to “play hookie” on Friday afternoon so we met up at Assembly to go shopping. RM and I were having our engagement photos on Saturday afternoon and I hadn’t been able to go shopping prior to, so it was nice to have some extra time on Friday to shop without being rushed. It was also nice to get to hang out and catch up with my sister- lunch, shopping and drinks on a Friday afternoon- can you get much better than that?

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I was on a mission for just a few necessary things for our photoshoot: white jacket, new jeans and new black booties, all of which were found- and most on crazy sale! My friend suggested going to Wilson’s Leather for jackets and I’m so happy she did because I got both of these for $84! I don’t think I would’ve gone in there on my own… I mean, I didn’t even think this store still existed!

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After our shopping I went to my friend Jessi’s apartment for some vino, apps and girl talk before making my way back to Newton Corner. I didn’t want to leave, but I knew I wanted/needed to be rested for Saturday. I grabbed a pizza from Bertucci’s on the way home, we watched an episode of Breaking Bad and hit the hay by 10:30. It was fantastic.

Saturday started with an incredible cardio kickboxing class- 60 members came and gave it their all. It makes what I do so rewarding!

After class I cleaned up quickly and went to Queen Bee Nails to get a much-needed manicure followed by heading to Waltham to get a hair cut and blow out. I always try to plan my hair cuts around when I have something going on at night because it makes my “getting ready” time much easier and faster!

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I ended up wearing this for the photos:

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Later that afternoon, we headed over to East Boston to meet up with Janelle at KO Pies since it seemed only fitting to kick off our engagement photos where it all started! Janelle and I worked together a few months back when she did my fitness photos, so I’m so excited to be working with her again! The owner of KO Pies was so happy that we were doing our photos there that he asked if he could take a picture and share it with our story- the photo isn’t great, but it was so cute of him to be so excited for us!

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Janelle’s photos, though? She shared a sneak peek and I love it so much. I can’t wait to see the rest!!

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After the photos, RM and I headed back home quickly before parting our separate ways for the night. I was going into the city for my friend Sheila’s surprise party at Stoddards and he was going to meet up with some guys on Moody Street in Waltham. Even though I was exhausted and so tempted to stay home, I’m glad I went because nights out in the city with these ladies just don’t happen as much these days!

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In typical grandma fashion, I was home by 11:30 😉

We ran out of eggs on Saturday so we decided to go out to breakfast on Sunday, something we rarely (if ever) do! We went to the Delux Town Diner and it was fantastic. Veggie Hash & eggs for him, breakfast sando for me and their unbelievable sweet potato pancakes to share. I forgot how good diner breakfasts are!!

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After breakfast and food shopping, we went into the city so RM could take some photos for his new website. I wanted to go for a walk anyway so this was a great way to do both things. The weather was just too nice to be inside!

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We swung by his mother’s for dinner after and then when we got home I did some food prep, including this incredible looking spaghetti squash which has sautéed onions, garlic, red pepper, zucchini, summer squash, spinach and ground pork. Topped with a little cheese and you’ve got your self a super tasty and healthy meal!

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I’m gearing up for a busy week between subbing for Lauren’s Build & Burn classes tomorrow night (if you’re a YMCA member, come!), teaching my class on Wednesday and then teaching the kickoff sweat-KICK class at Foster Fitness on Thursday, so I’m happy to have a dish that will be quick and easy to re-heat for dinners!

Questions for you: How was your weekend? Have you ever played hookie? Did you get any good workouts in? Did you try any new recipes or restaurants? What’s going on this week?

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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!

Weekending: Relaxing, Spontaneous Girls Night, Sunday Dinner

I wasn’t sure what my weekend was going to entail going into it, which is very unlike me! For once, I went entirely with the flow and sans plans. It was quite nice, might I add!

Friday was weird since I went into the office. Luckily, we can wear jeans on Friday’s now. Since I was dressed and had my hair done, I had wanted to get drinks after work, but no one was around and by the time I got home, the last thing I wanted to do was go back out in the cold so I just stayed in.

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Saturday morning I took a class at Recycle studio with my friend Lindsay which was the best way to start my day!

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We grabbed coffee (tea for me) at Starbucks after class and it was really interesting to hear how she got into teaching at Recycle. It makes me want to do it, but it was a huge time investment and I don’t know if my schedule allows for that right now. By the time I got home, I was starvinggggg, so I quickly whipped up this delicious quesadilla.

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Ground turkey, mushrooms, kale and cheese. It.was.perfect.

I was able to spend the rest of the afternoon catching up on a LOT of blogging. I don’t often have a solid chunk of time to do that, but I wish I did because I was so productive.

I met my sister and Amy at Stoddard’s in Downtown Crossing for a drink before our dinner reservations at 49 Social. It worked out perfectly because they are literally across the street from each other. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you probably remember that the “Shapleigh” girls like to get together for girls nights. Rachel was out of town, so it was just the 3 of us this time.

49 Social was really, really good! I didn’t take any pictures of the food, but we got hummus, a Duck Confit Quesadilla, a burger and some asparagus and everything was absolutely delicious. We always like to get things from the bar menu or appetizer section since we all like to share, so it was perfect. Danielle and I shared a bottle of this sauvignon blanc which was quite tasty.

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For once, I didn’t want to go home after dinner. We were having so much fun that we decided to keep it going and have “one more” at Gem as it was nearby. Well, “one more” ended up being “three more” without even really realizing it! I absolutely love nights that turn out like this. We were all just living in the moment and enjoying being out together, so we kept it going.

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We met the young man in the photo above when Danielle was showing off her stellar dance moves. He was visiting from Australia and I’m not sure he really knew how to handle us. It was hilarious.

Anyway! Sunday was productive, but also flew by. I went grocery shopping and then next thing I knew, it was time to head into the city for a class at Exhale Spa. When I got home, I got cookin’ in the kitchen. I made garlic and cheese mashed cauliflower, roasted veggies and marinated chicken. It was simple, but healthy and really good. The flavors were spot on.

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Fantastic way to end my weekend!

Questions for you: When’s the last time you were spontaneous? What was your best meal over the weekend? What was the best part of your weekend?