Weekending: Baby snuggles, Dry Bar, a Wedding & Lots of Errands

Hi there! How are you doing today? This past weekend was a good one- just what I needed after a stressful week.

After work on Friday, I headed to my friend Jess’s apartment in the North End to hang out with her, some other SMC friends and Jess’s sweet little baby girl, Nora. Jess had Nora in August, but because of everyone’s crazy schedules, we hadn’t had a chance to meet her yet. Snuggles with her was the perfect way to relax me 🙂

The rest of the night was spent passing the babe around, drinking wine, eating pizza and just hanging out. They’ve got an awesome little deck off the living room so we bundled up and headed out there to finish the night.

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After teaching on Saturday, I headed to Chestnut Hill to cash in my Groupon for a blow out at drybar in Chestnut Hill. Have you guys ever heard of drybar or been there? If you haven’t, it’s a salon that only washes, dries and styles your hair. Their slogan, “no cuts. no colors. just blowouts.”, is a perfect way to describe their services. What I loved about the place is that it’s such a girly-girl activity! They charge $40 for a blowout which also includes a cocktail… because cocktails make everything more fun, right? I couldn’t help but have a glass of champagne during my 12pm appointment. I literally did burpees and then had bubbly… so fitting 😉

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I was given a “menu” which had all of the styles listed out. The names were names of cocktails and I went with the Cosmopolitan as it was a loose, wavy style.

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Never mind the blowout, I could have had my hair washed for an hour- the scalp massage was so wonderful! From start to finish it was the most relaxing hour, and such a fun way to treat myself to some pampering! Unfortunately, the weather sucked and therefore my hair did not keep the look I got at the salon, but oh well. Nothing you can do!

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Later in the day, RM and I headed to Beverly to attend his cousin’s wedding. While it was freezing during the outdoor ceremony, it was very thoughtful and heartfelt… I just wish I could’ve had a glass of wine to help numb the cold temps! I didn’t take many photos during the night because I was meeting so many people and didn’t want to be that girl taking a million photos, but I’ll say it was a super fun wedding. His family likes to have a good time and we danced all night!

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We slept in until almost 10am on Sunday, which is a very rare occurrence for me. After breakfast we went for a nice walk to soak up some of the nice weather.

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After our walk, we split ways and I headed out to do some major errands. I’m having a party in a few weeks and wanted to get festive decorations so I headed back to Assembly Place with my first stop being Christmas Tree Shops. I love going there to get decorations as they are super cheap!

From there, I did a little shopping at the stores and scored with a great dress at Banana for $12 and new sneakers at Reebok for $50! My last stop was TJ Maxx where I finally was able to find something for the wall above my mantle. What do you think?

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I also decorated the hall area- I love how festive it’s starting to look!

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After decorating and cleaning, I finally made dinner. I sautéed a bunch of veggies and cooked some chicken and made a very tasty chicken and veggie stirfry.

And that sums it up! I could’ve used another 4 hours on Sunday to get everything done, but that’s ok. Although this week is busy, I’m going to do my best to stay calm and focus on one thing at a time. I have so many blog posts I want to write, but I’m going to try to not stress about getting those done if I’m tired and not getting home and sitting down until 9pm each night. I need to give myself more time to unwind at night!

Questions for you: What did you do this weekend? Have you been to drybar? Have you decorated for the fall or Halloween?

Weekending: Pure Barre, Crock Pot Meal, Boston Visiters

This past weekend was relatively quiet, which was good since I was still feeling pretty crappy unless I was drugged up on Sudafed. By Friday afternoon, though, I was itching to get out of my apartment (2 days in a row of working from home will do that to you!), so I decided to get my grocery shopping done. Woohoo, wild and crazy Friday night, huh? To spice things up, I stopped in at TJ Maxx first and scored this awesome Essie nail polish. Did you guys know they sell it there for $4.99?? I’ve been really into paining my nails recently, so I was stoked!

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My Friday night wasn’t entirely boring, though, as I did get together with someone for a class of wine, which ended up making me so stuffy I had to stop after one. The horrors!

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That was a bottle included in an awesome “box” of wine that I got as a Christmas present. I’m going to do a whole recap on that in another post because good wine deserves its own post, right?!

I had been looking forward to Saturday all week because I was finally cashing in my Christmas present from my sister, which was a class at Pure Barre on Newbury Street. I’ve been to a few barre classes, but I still went in without knowing what to expect. Well, 5 minutes in when I was dripping sweat holding all sorts of leg lifts and inner thigh squeezes and 90 second planks, I realized I was in for a real treat!

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I loved the class and could see myself going more often if it wasn’t so expensive, but I have to say that my first reaction of my first class wasn’t what I expected it to be. I think the reason I felt this way was only because the class moved SO fast and I had no idea what I was doing, which left me a little frustrated (it’s the Type A “I want to know exactly what to do, how to do it, what it should look like and how long we’ll be doing it for” in me.). I kept trying to look around for someone who looked like they knew what they were doing, but it was a class primarily full of “newbies” like Danielle and me, so I was out of luck. Even though I spent a lot of time fumbling around trying to figure out what to squeeze and tuck, I was able to “get” the move before it was time to move on, which was good. The instructor was also really attentive and walked around and corrected form (I kind of wanted her to just stand by me and fix me the whole class…) which was great.

I talked to the instructor after class to thank her for a great workout and to ask if it’s normal to be confused with the moves/terminology and she said that everyone feels that way after their first class and that after a few classes you learn the lingo and the moves and it becomes easier in that respect (not in terms of the workout). This made me feel better! And just because I was frustrated didn’t mean I didn’t like it, because I loved it. We worked muscles I didn’t know I had and when I woke up on Sunday morning, I could feel EVERYTHING. Holy moly. My hamstrings, abductors, triceps (I didn’t even think we did anything to work our triceps) and back were screaming as soon as I woke up. It was great. Thanks for a great Christmas present, Danielle! It was so fun trying something totally new and having it literally kick my butt. I want to go back!

After class, we headed to Douzo Sushi for a healthy and light lunch. We shared a Bento Box, Tempura Broccoli and Edamame. We didn’t share our wine, though 😉

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I love going out to lunch and having wine SO much. It’s probably one of my favorite things to do on a Saturday! I had to babysit on Saturday night, so I had to stop after 1 glass. Womp, womp.

Sunday morning I got up, did laundry, made granola (I’ll post it soon- SO good), went for a run and then got my crock pot meal ready since Danielle and I were getting drinks with our cousin on Sunday evening. I got the crock pot recipe from Eat, Live, Run and was happy with how easy it was to prepare. Are all crock pot meals as easy as cutting things up and putting them in the crock pot? I should do more of these…

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I followed Jenna’s recipe exactly except I used sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. I tried to halve the recipe, but I ended up doing probably 3/4 of the recipe. Soup freezes well, so I’m sure I’ll be doing that!

On Sunday evening, my sister and I met up with our cousin who was in town for various camp fairs (He’s the director at Hosmer Point in Craftsbury Commons, VT.) at Otto Pizza in Coolidge Corner. We got to meet some of his former campers/counselors which was really fun. We talked about Burpees to Bubbly (Hi everyone if you’ve ventured over here!) and I loved it 🙂

And that about sums it up! All in all, it was a good weekend… a little quiet/laid back, but with this stupid cold thing that’s probably just what I needed.

Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? Have you been to Pure Barre or another Barre studio in Boston? Do you have tips for a newbie?? What’s your favorite crock pot recipe?

The Big Move…

“The Big Move”… I am so overly, unnecessarily dramatic 😉 But, in all actuality, it was a pretty big move for me. Even though I am very independent and am not one of those people to always need someone around to go shopping with, watch TV with, workout with, etc. etc., I have never lived alone (although for the past year or so, I’ve wanted to! No offense, Danielle or Amy, but at 28 it was just time to have my own place and no roommates), so this was a big step!

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I started my search in May or June (I think), and found my new apartment basically right away. My landlord is awesome and we got along great right from the start, so it just felt right to sign the papers, not to mention it was a super affordable 1-bedroom apartment!

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This pretty much sealed the deal that I made the right choice! I can be won over by wine.

So, Saturday morning, Sue and Al (aka mom and dad) packed up the truck with my couch and other various things I needed from home and came down to help me move.

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It didn’t take Danielle long to figure out what she was going to do to help us

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assume position and start barking orders. Just kidding! She was actually very helpful for the entire day and in no time at all, we had the first load ready

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I breathed a huge sigh of relief when my parents immediately started gushing at my new place. My only issue with the apartment is that it is basement level and although the ground is at a slant and my bedroom has 2 full size windows, I was just having a hard time accepting the fact that I was on ground level. Walking in with my parents and sister and having them all talk about how it didn’t seem like it was basement level, made me feel great (even if they were saying it just to make me feel better).

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Kitchen and living room

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Bedroom- see? It’s bright!

I put mom to work with getting my kitchen in order while I finished bringing in load after load after load of my stuff. Once everything was in from the first load, it was time to pop the bubbly!

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What I really love about my place is the back patio! I can’t wait to have little BBQ’s and little gatherings out there. It didn’t take dad long to break the patio in!

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We finally got lunch around 2 or 3 and I didn’t take a picture because I was way too hungry. Between teaching cardio kickboxing in the morning and doing heavy lifting/moving for another 3+ hours, I needed food in a bad way. Once we finished eating, my sister left to go to a friend’s house and mom, dad and I went to Home Depot and Target.

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Once we got the vast majority of things on my list (at the time… my list seems to continuously grow as the days go on. yikes!), we dropped dad off at my old apartment and mom and I went back to my new apartment to unload some more things. I was obsessed with getting my bathroom set up- weird, right?! I also put together shelves and mom unpacked and set up other random things.

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By 7:15, we were absolutely beat and decided to head back to Somerville for the night (it was easier to stay there since there was more room)… but not without picking up Chinese food for dinner. Yes, you read that correctly: we had Chinese take-out on Saturday night. I haven’t had Chinese food in probably 3 years!! Totally worth it, though… I was famished and it absolutely hit the spot.

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I crashed pretty hard on Saturday night and before I knew it, it was time to get up and start all over again on Sunday! While mom was at church, Dad and I packed up the rest of the things in my apartment: bed, bureau and all my clothes/shoes/food/etc. Gosh, I was dripping in sweat within minutes! Moving is seriously NO JOKE. Great workout!

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It was definitely bittersweet leaving my old apartment knowing that I had everything packed up (ok, almost everything- I realized later that I forgot all of my jackets in the coat closet there, but no biggie since the girls are staying there this year!). But that feeling went away as soon as I had everything in my new apartment and started making it feel more like home.

We broke around 1 to go have a birthday lunch for my parents at Joe’s American Bar and Grill in the North End. The purpose for going there was to have brunch on the water, but long story short, we ended up inside. I’ve always enjoyed the food there even though it’s a chain restaurant, but this past experience was horrible!!! From the food to the service, everything was awful! Well, except for this drink

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Now THAT was good!

After lunch, I was feeling like it was time for some “Monique alone time”, so I sent my parents and my sister off so I could be in my apartment alone to putter and try to organize my life! I washed things that didn’t need to be washed and moved things from one place to the next and then back to the original place. I finally decided it was time to get out and grocery shop and pick up a few more things at TJ Maxx and Target.

My trip to Market Basket was rather large, but I think I spent half what I would’ve spent had I gone elsewhere! I love that store 🙂

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I also bought myself flowers because, well, sometimes you just need flowers 🙂

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Again, I didn’t stop until about 10pm on Sunday, but it was nice knowing that I’d be working from home on Monday (Comcast was coming so I wanted to be around for that!). Besides work on Monday, I was able to get some things done around my apartment, go to BodyPump after work (holy moly… I lifted heavy and was rather sore on Tuesday!! I secretly loved it 😉 ) and then hit up the Christmas Tree Shop for a few things. I also made my first “dinner” at my new place. Nothing fancy, but I’m loving my new pots and pans!

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I made my first commute to work on Tuesday from my new apartment and was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was!! My old commute was a short walk to the bus, a bus ride to the T, taking the T 4 or 5 stops into the city and then walking about 15 minutes to the office. Phew! My new commute is an 8 minute walk to the T, 2 stops into the city and a 12 minute walk to work- amazing!! 🙂

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When I got home, I went for a 3.5 mile run around my new neighborhood. There is a REALLY nice park with all sorts of paved trails a half mile from my house which I see myself taking advantage of during my time here!

By the time I got home from work last night, I was utterly exhausted! I ended up subbing the class before mine and I found myself having no energy to teach which never happens. I took that as a sign and did the low-impact version of the workouts. Thankfully I had leftovers for dinner, otherwise my dinner likely would’ve looked like this:

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My friend, Tim, texted me that and I thought it was perfect timing! Mom, he thought you’d get a kick out of it, too.

Even though I’m not completely settled in, I feel like I’m getting there, bit by bit! Luckily I don’t have any big plans this weekend so I’ll have time to finish up even more!

Questions for you: When is the last time you moved? What’s the first thing you like to set up in your new apartment? How long is your commute to work?