Weekending: Home improvement is hard work!

Good morning, friends! How was your weekend? This was the first weekend in a really long time where we were around ALL weekend, without many plans, too! It worked out really well since RM and I were really itching to finish home improvement projects and get more unpacked. Living in a half unpacked apartment for 2 weeks has been challenging, to say the least!

For those of you who may not know the whole story, no, we did not buy a home! We are renting a 2 bedroom apartment in a 2-family home that RM’s mother owns (she doesn’t live in it, in case you’re wondering 🙂 )and it really needed some serious updating. To help keep the costs down for his mom, we have taken on projects that we can do: painting, sanding, etc. Ideally, we would’ve done this BEFORE we moved in, but we didn’t want her to go a month without rent so we’ve been living and renovating at the same time. While it hasn’t been terrible, we are both really ready to be done the renovations and be fully settled in!

But, before we got to renovations, let’s talk about the weekend. I met up with RM in the city after work since it was such a gorgeous night (and because I had an appointment in the city at 6pm so it worked out great). We started at Vanderbilt (used to be The Vault) and then decided it was too nice to have drinks inside and went over to Sterling’s because they have a great outdoor patio.

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Once we got home, we decided to walk over to Buff’s Pub since it’s so close AND so good. I got a delicious Gyro-style wrap and RM got their famous wings. Both were delicious!

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After kickboxing on Saturday, I ran a bunch of errands, including a stop at Watertown Main Street Florist, where my friend Jen works on Saturdays. She hooked me up with a beautiful bouquet of fall-esque flowers. Thanks, friend!
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Craving Normalcy

Hi B2B friends! I’ve missed you! While we are not anywhere near being fully unpacked and settled, we are starting to feel somewhat better than we did last week, that’s for sure! And, we finally have a kitchen sink! Might not sound like much, but washing dishes in the bathroom sink or shower for a week was getting  a little old 😉 (still waiting on the back splash, so excuse that!)

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Our weekend was a mix of unpacking/organizing/renovating, but we did get together with family which is always nice. Friday afternoon my friend Jessi was in the area so she stopped by for some Prosecco. Later, RM’s brother, sister in law and nephew came over for pizza and vino. We got the pizza from Max & Leo’s, which is just a short walk from our apartment. I have to say, East Boston has pretty much nailed the pizza game, but Max & Leo’s may have them beat! This pizza was outstanding!

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Saturday we got up and I went for a 4.5 mile run before we hit the road to spend the day in Maine with some family. My mom had some of her siblings in town which is always fun! We went to the beach in Wells and then went to dinner at Billy’s Chowder House.

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Sunday was spent making a major dent in some renovations- I sanded the pantry- which is quite a workout- and then RM did a layer of primer on the cabinets while I cleaned and primed all the draws.

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It feels so good to make some progress with the rest of our move. While the living room is coming along and the bedrooms are mostly set up, we still have a long way to go until we are fully settled in!

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I’ll say this- moving is stressful to begin with. Moving 2 people with fully furnished apartments into 1 combined apartment is stressful. Doing both of those things AND living a midst a kitchen renovation is stressful X 3 🙂

As I said last week, my goal during this whole move has been to stay calm, understanding and to try and stay up-beat/positive. I’ve only had one minor meltdown, so I think that’s pretty good! I’ve got a lot less stress than RM since he’s not only managing all of the renovation work at our new apartment, but also a complete gut renovation in a unit back in East Boston and getting new tenants into both of our old units. Even though we are both very similar in our abilities to handle stress and change, I feel like staying positive this time around is the least I can do- two of us stomping around frustrated and stressed is just not going to help anyone or anything 😉

All in all, though, even with all the chaos and no sense of normalcy, we’ve been having a lot of fun living together. We’ve both talked about how it feels so good to have one home base that we share. We may be stressed and tired, but at least we are going through it together. Going for a walk to Starbucks in the morning and figuring out where we want to put stuff has been so fun! And, little by little we are making strides towards normalcy- we both like to have food prepped and ways to eat healthy food at home rather than going out, so making it a priority to even have a few key kitchen items unpacked has really helped.

I hope all of you had a great weekend and have a good week! For those of you in the Boston area, I’m subbing for Athena on Tuesday morning at 6am at the Oak Square YMCA- would love to see some familiar faces!! I’m looking for suggestions on what to teach, too!

Questions for you: How do you handle stress? Do you go with the flow or stress over change and lack of normalcy? What did you do this weekend? Have you ever done home renovations?

Weekending: 4th of July

Good morning! I am so excited to get back on track with normal eating, drinking and working out this week. Don’t get me wrong, I like to indulge and enjoy extra vinos, BBQ food and dessert, but it really doesn’t make me feel as good as I do when I eat my usual healthy way. With that said, this past weekend was filled with lots of good food, wine and company- hope you enjoy my recap!

Thursday-

I ended up not having to work on Thursday so I made good use of the day by cooking, blogging, working out and going to the beach. It was quite relaxing!

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Thursday night some of my girlfriends were getting together to celebrate Jessi’s birthday, which was yesterday. We met up at Ducali’s and enjoyed vino, salad and pizza- oh, and a big ol’ side of girl talk 😉 RM made fun of me for my festive outfit, but I liked it!

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We weren’t quite ready to end the night so we headed to Tavern in the Square across from the garden for one more drink.

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(photo credit: Lauren)

On Friday, RM and I headed up to Maine… along with the rest of the friggen state of Massachusetts it seemed! It literally took us 2 hours to get to Portsmouth from Boston, which is more than the time it normally takes to get all the way to my parents house! Of course, it was the most beautiful day, too. We decided to pull off in Portsmouth for lunch on the deck at the Oar House to wait out some of the traffic and get some sun and drinks.

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We ended up being there for almost 3 hours- oops!

Once we made it to Maine, we sat outside and chatted with my parents before having a dinner full of all sorts of random things including my dad’s fish chowder and pork pie, fresh trout from Lake Champlain, pizza on the grill using dad’s dough and sauce and my mom’s tomato and zucchini casserole. Although it was everything I wanted to eat, it may have been a little too many different things in one meal 😉

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Saturday morning, I got up and went for a 3 mile run before heading into town for the parade.

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Rm had never been to a parade, and was quite amused by the one we went to 😉

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Our family friends had a BBQ later in the day, but unfortunately the weather did not cooperate and it ended up sprinkling for the majority of the party 😦  While annoying, it didn’t ruin the fun, though! All the food was fantastic.

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We ended the night making s’mores back at my parents house- perfect ending to a great day!

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On Sunday, we helped my dad in the garden. I’ll tell ya- manual labor is no joke! After, we headed up to the lake to go out on Sara and Tim’s boat… all of which I did not think to take a single picture of- #bloggerfail. But, it was a perfect afternoon- we’re so lucky to have friends who have boats and live on the lake!

All in all, it was a great couple of days and mini “vacation”. Just what I needed!

Questions for you: How was your 4th of July? Do you have any traditions for the 4th? Did you indulge on holiday eats and drinks?

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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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(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!

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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.

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Sunday morning started with a fantastic bunch of healthy pancakes.

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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?

Italy Recap Part 3 (Final one!): Castiglione Della Pescaia

I can’t believe I’m here with my 3rd and final recap of our recent Italian vacation… I’m not ready for it to be over! In case you missed the first 2 recaps, here they are: Italy Recap Part 1: Rome Italy Recap Part 2: Pienza Our last leg of the trip was spent on the sandy beaches in Castiglione Della Pescaia, which was about 2 hours north west of Pienza. The ride on Friday morning was actually quite nice as we entered into the more beach-y areas of Italy. IMG_1387 IMG_1386
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