Weekending: Babysitting, Spartan Training, Lunching, Lounging

Happy Birthday Month to all my April birthday buddies! I can’t believe I am going to be 29 in just 2 weeks. Holy crap. Where the heck does time go?!

I had a relatively quiet weekend last weekend, which was a welcomed change! It was nice to not be under stress to get from one thing to the next, and to have time to relax and get stuff done around my apartment.

Friday night I got to babysit my 2 favorite kiddos. They love making pizza with me, so their mom whipped up some homemade dough and we made the most delicious pizza. It ended up working out well since I can’t eat meat on Fridays anyway!

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Saturday started off the best way: with a workout! As I’ve mentioned, I went to a Spartan training workout with a group of gym friends. I’d love to say that I LOVED the workout, but I didn’t. I thought it was really good and left me physically beat, it was too long. I was ready to be done about an hour into it, which I think was because it was fairly repetitive. Read: we did A LOT of burpees, squats, lunges, jumping jacks, running in place and push ups. Like, a lot (I think we did at least 200 burpees- no joke). While those are great exercises, I would’ve liked to have seen a better variety to keep us engaged for the whole time. We did run outside for a bit, which was greatly welcomed since the BC High School gymnasium was SO HOT. Overall, it was a good workout, but I don’t think I’d do one again. It was definitely fun to work out WITH my gym friends, rather than just teaching them 😉

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I definitely earned my lunch and bubbly at Lincoln Tavern with my sister! As I mentioned on Instagram, Lincoln has a “Bucket of Bubbly” deal where you get a bottle of Prosecco and 3 mixers (OJ, grapefruit juice and peach puree) for.. wait for it… $24! Even if you don’t finish the bottle (I’m embarrassed to admit we didn’t finish it…), it’s still a better deal than ordering glasses separately. I also enjoyed an asparagus, caramelized onions and cheese omelet.

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After lunch, I headed to my date’s apartment (I’m going to call him that rather than “the guy I am dating”… much easier 😉 ) to hang out. We had a nice, quiet night in which included drinking really great wine, cooking/making dinner and watching a movie.

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Have you seen the Dallas Buyers Club? We both really enjoyed it. While it was a bit more serious and intense than I usually watch, it was a very interesting story with great acting!

I wanted to share the recipe that we used for our appetizer. My date is gluten and dairy free right now, so he got this really great Paleo recipe book and we made the Tahini sauce.

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(he set this up for me to take a photo to put on here- super cute!)

It was a fun treat! He had made homemade sausages a few weeks ago, so we also had some of those with peppers, onions and a side of kale. Delish!

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Sunday started out with a workout and then grocery shopping, meal prep, laundry, cleaning and blogging. The gross, rainy weather was perfect for all of these activities! I made a crock pot soup, which was just a bunch of veggies, sweet potatoes and broth/Stubbs’ marinade. I added chicken at the end. Perfect meal for a rainy Sunday!

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I also made these amazing bars that Athena posted a while ago. I added in unsweetened coconut flakes and used gluten/dairy free chocolate chips. These things continue to amaze me!

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And that’s about it! All around really great weekend.

Questions for you: Do you make your own pizza dough or buy it? Have you done a Spartan race? Have you seen Dallas Buyers Club? If so, what did you think?

 

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Weekending: Quiet night in, Spring Wine Fest, Girls day out

I love when I have weekends that are a mix of relaxation and fun events- they’re the best right? This past weekend was one of those weekends and it was just what I needed after a busy week, as well as what I needed to prepare for a busy week this week.

Friday night, I headed into the city after I finished work to go to Lindsay’s class at Recycle. I had never been to the studio on Newbury Street, but I was a huge fan!

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Working out on a Friday afternoon was a nice treat!

The rest of my Friday night included wine, a healthy dinner and serious couch lounging, which was exactly what I needed/wanted.

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Spring Wine Fest

A few months ago, my friend Jessi sent out an email telling us about a Spring Wine Fest that she has gone to for a number of years. The tickets at the time were only $19, so clearly that was a no-brainer on my part; sign me up! Drinking wine on a Saturday afternoon with my girlfriends (after teaching an awesome kickboxing class) is probably one of my favorite things do to.

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We had a blast walking around and trying lots of different wines from various wineries. Some of my favorites were Kim Crawford, Wild Horse, Estancia and Simi, although there were so many others that were great, too. I liked going during the day because even though it was still pretty busy (we basically would get a sample then drink it while waiting in another line), there was still room to move and mingle and hang out. They had lots of free food samples, which is key at a wine tasting event 😉

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The lighting in the Cyclorama was amazing- these photos came out so great! Doesn’t hurt that I have pretty friends, either 😉

After a few tastings we were feeling silly enough to jump over to the photo booth. I die a little every time I look at these pictures…

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Look at my head in that second one- it makes no sense!

Our tasting ended at 2:30, so we walked over to Gaslight for a much needed late lunch. I had a Bellini to start and then switched to wine after.

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My sister met us for lunch and she and I shared the Croque Madame and scrambled eggs with a Truffle Oil sauce. Holy yum!

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After lunch, our large group broke up and some went home and others went to The Playwright for a Boston Marathon fundraiser. I was so happy that my friend Meaghan was able to join us!

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Needless to say, after a day of drinking, I was happily home, fed and in bed by 9:30 😉

Sunday was a standard Sunday that consisted of laundry, grocery shopping, visiting my sister, packing and lots of blogging/workout planning. It’s always a little stressful right before I leave for a trip (even if it’s short) because I have to get my blog posts prepped for the time I’m going to be away and I have to make sure that I’m packed correctly (in other words, it takes time to pack smartly vs. just throwing stuff into a suitcase.). I have to say, though, one thing that was really nice was the fact that I didn’t need to cook a big meal or prep for the week. It’s sad how much easier my day felt without that task!

Here’s to a good week!

Questions for you: Do you like to workout on Fridays? What’s your ideal Saturday consist of? Have you ever been to the Wine Fest in the South End?

Weekending: Lots of dining out {again}, girl time, date night & finally taking time to breathe

This past weekend was another whirl-wind, but it was all super fun stuff so I can’t really complain 🙂

On Friday, my upstairs neighbor, Lisa, and I went into the city for drinks and dinner at Sip Wine Bar.

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I had been once before, but not in a few years, so I was excited to go back! We had to wait a bit for seats at the bar to open up, but that was fine, we had cocktails and lots of catching up to do to pass the time.

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I love Sip because you can have a “sip” of wine, a half glass, whole glass or bottle. After my bubbly, I did a white wine sampler.

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Yummy 🙂 We shared the Ahi Tuna Tacos and the Mushroom Flatbread, both of which were delicious! Seriously, I don’t know if it was the truffle oil on the pizza or what, but I could’ve eaten the whole thing on my own.

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Thanks for such a fun night, Lisa!

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After my going to Pursuit on Saturday morning, I met up with some college friends for lunch at Margarita’s in Medford. Sheila and I were both craving Mexican, so it was the perfect place to go… my wine headache needed chips and salsa. Like, needed them. A margarita didn’t hurt, either 😉

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When I got home, I whipped up a batch of the most delicious gluten free, dairy free oatmeal chocolate coconut pecan no-bake bars!

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Saturday night was date night! We went to Eastern Standard, which is one of my favorite restaurants/bars in Boston. I got all dolled up and even wore contacts- it’s so weird when I don’t wear glasses. I feel like I don’t look like myself at all!

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We scored seats at the bar and enjoyed some cocktails before finally ordering some food. We ordered some shrimp cocktail to start, and I wound up getting the cheese burger. Say, what?! Yeah, I was just graving red meat, but not in the form of steak, so the burger was a great option- it was so good.

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Such a fun night! Sorry I missed you, Steph and Alice 😦

Sunday morning started with much needed yoga, followed by a day to myself. Between my crazy weekends and week days, I really, REALLY needed/wanted a day to myself to catch up on life. Yoga, grocery shopping, meal prep, blogging, workout prep, cleaning and laundry… may not sound that exciting, but it was perfect for me!

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And that about sums it up! This past weekend was a better balance of fun things and relaxing things- I needed that.

Questions for you: Have you been to Sip or Eastern Standard? What was something fun that you did over the weekend? Truffle oil- are you a sucker for it like I am?

More Weekend Catch-Up

Hi! How’s everyone doing? Did you survive Monday? I always feel a little better once Monday is over!

Since I didn’t do much weekend recapping except for Sara’s shower, I wanted to fill you in now! Everyone left our place by 6pm on Saturday and at that point, my sister and I were ready to get out of the house. I had a $20 OpenTable gift certificate and she had a $10 UBER credit, so we decided to take advantage of both and go grab dinner somewhere. Most restaurants were pretty busy, but one of our go-to favorite restaurants just happened to have some availability! I stumbled upon Anthem Restaurant in Faneuil Hall a few winters ago when I was planning Rachel’s bachelorette party and we have been in love with it ever since! I’ve taken my parents there, work friends there, college friends there… Pretty much any time we don’t know where to go, but want good atmosphere and good food, we go there.

Anyway! Since we were not too hungry, we ordered some wine and chatted before placing our meal order.

042Once our stomachs began to rumble a little, we placed an order of their Boston Bibb salad and Margarita Pizza. Nothing too heavy, but enough to satisfy us!

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045Yum! The salad looks boring, but the dressing they use is what makes it so good!

My friend and former co-worker, JP, met us out, which is always a good time. He and my sister can be bad news sometimes, though, because they egg each other on in drinking competitions and whatnot. Youngin’s, I tell ya!

046JP was also able to catch this on camera. I have to say that she did a much better job carrying me this time. I blame it on my heels!

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I woke up Sunday feeling much better than I thought I would, which is always a nice surprise. After blogging and eating breakfast, I decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and go for a walk. Danielle joined me so it was nice to have someone to talk to! We covered just about 2 miles and then I worked to get my garden ready for planting. Let me tell you, raking and tilling and pulling weeds is a great upper body workout!

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050Even though I could have stayed out in the sun and warm weather all day, I had to go in and shower and get ready for my friend Christy’s bridal shower. It was at the Daily Catch in the Seaport and it was absolutely lovely. I had never been to that location, but it was so much nicer than I had imagined. Plus, the view of the harbor on a gorgeous sunny day didn’t hurt, either. It was great to get to catch up with a bunch of my college girlfriends and be a part of Christy’s special day. It was a surprise bridal shower and it seemed like Christy was 100% surprised!

I didn’t get many pictures, but I did grab some of the adorable center pieces that my friend, Amy, made, as well as a delicious mimosa and the menu.

058It was a 3-course meal and everything that I tried was really good! I got the caprese salad to start, fish n chips for my meal (everyone deserves a splurge day or meal!) and obviously didn’t turn down a piece of cake (I am a sucker for all things dessert, especially when it involves frosting.).

After the bridal shower ended, I picked up Danielle and we hit up the grocery store. I had all intentions of making a nice Sunday dinner, but when I looked in the fridge and saw how many leftovers we had from the shower on Saturday, I decided to postpone my meal for tonight (only night I don’t teach, so I actually have time to make a nice dinner after work!). This was a big move for me… I ALWAYS make a “Sunday Dinner,” so when I don’t, something feels so off!

And, I think that about sums it up! Weekends being surrounded by best friends and family are the best, in my book, and nice weather is just icing on the cake (pun intended!).

Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? Do you like to garden? Do you try to make a nice meal on Sunday nights or do you prefer to cook during the week?

Sunday Dinner- Pinot Grigio Chicken with a Honey Citrus Glaze

Hey everyone! How was your Sunday? The weather- again- didn’t end up being what I thought it was going to be, but that’s ok. I mean, it has to get warmer soon, right?

Even when I try to make Sunday’s relaxed, a wide open schedule stresses me out and without even meaning to, I end up filling it with random things. Is anyone else like this? For instance, yesterday I got up, had breakfast, blogged, went grocery shopping, made a delicious lunch, went to the mall, prepped some blog posts, showered, made dinner, did my April Arms Challenge for the day… no wonder why I am tired! The thing is, I never once felt stressed or rushed or anxious. Yesterday was a great day and a great mix of being on my own schedule of things I WANTED to do and some things that I had to do.

After facing the masses and masses of people at Market Basket, Danielle and I got to making a nice lunch. This is kind of weird for a Sunday, but since we didn’t have any leftovers and had lots of groceries, it was a great idea.  I cooked up a bunch of chicken and made a salad for lunch, as well as a few for lunches for the beginning of the week.

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Danielle made her new favorite thing to make: homemade Mac N Cheese! She added broccoli and buffalo chicken (leftover from Friday night pizza night) and it was delicious! My mom had gotten me the cutest little pot thing and it was perfect for the Mac N Cheese.

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I went to the Cambridgeside Galleria for a few things (got my birthday dress at the first store I went to- on sale- amazing!!), but wasn’t really in the mood to poke around so I didn’t stay long. When I got home, I prepped dinner and then got busy with the Sunday circuit for the April Arms Challenge.  Since I was tired and sore from a tought week of workouts, I just did a 5 minute warm up and cool down and 2 rounds of the 3-2-1 circuit. I also switched up the 3 mins of cardio to a kickboxing cardio move that felt better for my shoulder and did the same with the reverse curls (something wasn’t working with them, which I was so bummed about because I love that move!).

Ok, ok, let’s get to dinner, shall we?

I usually make up my own recipes for the blog, but when I saw a recipe for Pinot Grigio Chicken over at Eat, Live, Run, I knew I wanted to make it soon. Another deciding factor was the fact that we just happened to have an open bottle of Pinot Grigio in the fridge:) I followed the recipe to a T (except for the fact that I had to use drumsticks since Market Basket was out of chicken breasts), so go on over to Eat, Live, Run and check it out!

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On the side, I roasted some asparagus (all I did was spray them with Pam spray and give a few shakes of garlic crumbles, sea salt, pepper, and lemon juice) and cooked up some harvest grains blend quinoa.  Since we had extra white sauce from the Mac N Cheese, we put a little of it on the asparagus, which was a great idea!

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I absolutely loved this meal! It was very different from what I usually make and I only wish that I could’ve grilled the chicken instead of baking it! I was a little nervous that it would be TOO citrus-y (is that a word?), but it was not at all! I took the skin off of the drumsticks and poked some holes in them so that the marinade would be absorbed, which was perfect because we didn’t lose all the flavor when peeling off the skin before eating. I have just enough left over for dinner tomorrow night- score for me!

Questions for you: What’s your go-to blog for finding recipes? drumsticks/Thighs/Darker meat- fan or not? I used to hate it, but then I realized how much more flavorful dark meat is than white meat so now I eat it when I can!