Weekending: Wedding Update Edition

Good morning! How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun? I was loving the great fall weather. Know what else I was loving? BOOKING A VENUE AND A DATE!!! If you’ve been following B2B for a while, you already know that wedding planning thus far has been stressful. Being on a budget, having no idea what I want and having a busy schedule anyway has made the whole process just not that fun. BUT, now that we have a venue and a date I already feel a million times better. Before we get to that, let’s chat about the rest of the weekend, too.

After work on Friday, I met up with my sister at Hopsters in Newton Corner. This place is literally walking distance from my apartment and they sell lots of craft beers and delicious looking charcuterie boards and flatbread pizzas. On top of that, you can even make your own beer there, which sounds like a fun activity even for someone like me who isn’t a big beer person.

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The purpose for our meetup was so that I could finally officially ask her to be my Maid of Honor! I scoured Etsy for a while until I found this bracelet, which had my sisters name all over it (literally and figuratively!)- she loves bracelets and monogramed items so this couldn’t have been more perfect. Luckily, she agreed 🙂

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When I got home, RM and I made a nice healthy fish dinner, thanks to my mom’s friend Jean’s husband who caught the fish!

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A little while after dinner, it was snack time. Yes, we have a snack time every night- it’s my favorite! We always try to have healthy snacks like paleo banana bread muffins or toast or something else that’s not loaded with tons of sugar. On Friday, RM toasted up some Ezekiel bread, topped it with almond butter and my mom’s homemade blueberry jam, bananas, cinnamon and ground flax seed. Delicious!

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After teaching on Saturday, I rushed home to shower and hit the road to head up to Jackson, NH to look at The Wentworth Inn as a possible wedding venue.

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I had spoken with Kim, the fantastic wedding planner, a few times leading up to our visit and was totally in love with the venue before even seeing it in person! It was affordable, included a lot of things in the package that most other places didn’t include (90 minutes of full open bar at the cocktail hour?! yes, please!) and seemed like a great mini destination place since it’s just 10 minutes north of North Conway. I also loved that everyone could stay on site, which eliminated the need for us to need to book buses or vans or some other type of transportation. And, they source all of their food locally, from 15 nearby farms, to be exact, and they said nothing is ever frozen. For foodies like us, we loved the sounds of that!

After a tour and long discussion with Kim, we were pretty sure we were going to book our wedding at The Wentworth… on the 4th of July! They were giving a phenomenal discount to have the wedding on that day, one that was just too good to pass up, so we are going to be getting married on July 4th, 2016! We are hoping it doesn’t throw a wrench into people’s normal 4th of July plans, but since the holiday is on a Monday, we hope that people can do celebrating on Saturday and Sunday and be with us on Monday-  I promise it will be a good party!

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After our tour, we decided to walk to the Wildcat Tavern for a late afternoon snack and drink since we didn’t have lunch. The trio dip platter was a fantastic option and their wine selection was incredible! Ashley- they had La Crema by the glass 🙂

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When we got back to our room, RM laughed and said we apparently didn’t need to get a snack. Curious, I went over to see what he was looking at and was so surprised by the super sweet gesture that Kim had done by sending us a nice card and a cheese platter.

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It’s little things like this that really go a long way with potential clients- we appreciated it so much!

After resting for a bit, we went down to the hotel bar to have some dinner. They have a full restaurant, but we prefer the bar atmosphere. The food was unbelievable- I got the lamb stew and RM got the steak and everything was absolutely delicious and so fresh tasting!

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We also shared some sort of apple tart with cinnamon ice cream for dessert that went unpictured because we were too impatient to wait for me to get my phone to take a picture 😉

Another great thing about the Inn is that breakfast and breakfast tip are included in your room rate. When we saw all that they had to offer for breakfast, we couldn’t believe it! They had a really nice continental breakfast bar with fruit, yogurt, cereal, pastries, etc., but they also had a full breakfast menu. We decided to split both of the specials: blueberry pancakes and eggs benedict, with a side of homemade corn beef hash.

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Oh, my, God. Everything was so fresh and flavorful and just delicious.

We hit the road after breakfast so RM could be back in time to watch the game. I decided to make good use of time and went to Whole Foods. I treated myself to a smoothie since I was hungry for lunch at that point.

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We decided we wanted to do a roast chicken dinner so I prepped that when I got back before going to a yoga class.

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There is a CorePower Yoga a short walk from our apartment and last week there was a day where I just didn’t feel like going to the gym so I decided to check it out. They offer a free first week for new students which is an amazing deal, so I’m trying to get the most use out of it. Yesterday, the only class they had in a time that worked for me was their Yoga Sculpt class, which is almost like a yoga bootcamp. I really wanted a restorative yoga, but I ended up really loving the Yoga Sculpt class- we started and ended with nice yoga flows, but in the middle we used weights and did all sorts of lunges, pushups, squats, jumping jacks, burpees, etc…. I was totally in my element, even in the 98* room! I felt great when I left.

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I popped the chicken and veggies in the oven when I got home and everything came out SO GOOD! I have never made a roast chicken before even though it’s my favorite meal so I was a little nervous but everything tasted delicious.

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And that’s about it. If you made it this far, thank you!!

Now that we have our venue and date picked, I can focus on the fun stuff like dress shopping and invites and things like that! Feels SO GOOD to have the biggest part of wedding planning checked off 🙂

Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? Do you prefer beer or wine? What’s your favorite dinner meal? What do you have going on this week?

 

Weekending: Review through pictures

Good morning! Did you guys have a good weekend? We sure did- here’s a glimpse 🙂

  • I had to go to Milwaukee Thursday-Friday, which was a really nice trip. I wasn’t sure Milwaukee would be anything that exciting, but I have to say I really loved the little city! It was a much quieter city than I’m used to, but it was still really cool! I stayed right downtown and was within walking distance to the river walk and lots of cool restaurants and shopping.

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  • I made sure to get in workouts while I was gone, too 🙂 One strength one and then one quickie bodyweight hotel room workout one- I’ll share both with you soon!

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Hotel room bodyweight workout

  • I met my sister at a new restaurant in Watertown called Branch Line. It’s right near her new office and close to me, plus the owners of Eastern Standard (one of my favorite Boston restaurants) started it so I couldn’t wait to try it out. The verdict? LOVED IT! We only got drinks and their fried cheese bites, but the whole experience was very good and RM and I plan on going back for dinner since their menu looked intriguing!

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  • RM and I ended up going to Stellina for dinner which was where we went to dinner the night we got engaged! The food was great, although I didn’t take any pictures 😉
  • Saturday we lounged in the morning. It was weird to be around with no plans AND no teaching. Rather than rushing out for the gym, I decided to hang around and get all my house chores done first. We had people over on Saturday night so I wanted to prep the chili and dessert and clean/pick up. I finally went to SoulCycle for a 1pm class. It was a good class, but not the hardest I’ve been to, or as much of a party as SC usually is. Oh well!
  • I had time to relax when I got back so I caught up on Greys anatomy while sharing a beer with RM.

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  • Our dinner party was a blast! I made a sweet potato turkey chili which was a hit, a cheese and prosciutto board, guacamole and a batch of these delicious Paleo Pumpkin Bars. I added in chocolate chips and pumpkin spice chips and they came out SO GOOD! Along with these treats, RM’s sister-in-law Emily brought a tasty apple crisp and Amanda brought a fantastic brie/pecans/craisin ball. Oh, and lots of wine 😉

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  • Sunday we made our way to NH to go look at another venue and while we liked it, we were kind of turned off by how far lodging was from the venue so I’m not sure we will pursue it further. Oh well.
  • We were staving when we got back so we heated up chili and other treats from Saturday night and had a medley sort of lunch. While RM watch/snoozed through the Patriots game, I whipped up some lemon blueberry muffins from his Practical Paleo cookbook (we are trying to incorporate more paleo-like meals these days). They came out pretty good!

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  • After I finished my book/the Patriots game was over, I coerced RM into going to Marshall’s and Target with me. We are on the hunt for a new dining room table and living room chair and I wanted him to see some of the things I was digging. Love this table from Target:

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  • Although I was really craving pizza or something like that, we opted for a healthier dinner and had chicken thighs, kale, mashed sweet potatoes and butternut squash and for some reason, everything came out SO GOOD. Nothing fancy, but so tasty. (I snapped a pic halfway through).

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All in all, a great weekend filled with friends and family, relaxation and productivity. Oh, and wine. Definitely wine 😉

Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? Have you tried out any new restaurants? What’s the coolest city you’ve traveled to? Did you get in any good workouts? Any good meals?

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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Weekending: Moving & Labor Day Weekend Edition

Well, here we are- Labor Day has come and gone. RM and I were talking about how while we can’t believe summer is on its way out, summer actually didn’t feel incredibly short. We didn’t have a lot of weekend plans, weddings or travel this summer so we were able to take advantage of many weekends on the Cape and a few in Maine which was different than last summer. I also don’t remember a time when I went to the beach as much as I did this year. Whether just scooting over to Constitution Beach in East Boston or going to the Cape or Wells Beach in Maine, we did some serious beaching!

Last weekend’s long weekend started on Thursday when it was move day for me. While I don’t like packing and unpacking, the actual physical act of moving doesn’t bother me- I look at it as another workout!

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I had never hired movers before and although I had a slightly argumentative phone call with  the owner at one point, things ended up going very smoothly. Thanks to a recommendation by Stephanie, I hired Secure Movers and was impressed not only with their rates, but also with their speed. We (yes, I helped move boxes down my stairs and into the truck), were able to completely load up the truck, drive to Watertown and unload the truck in just under 2 hours. I call that a success!

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After they left, I spent some time getting the extra bedroom set up, grabbed lunch at the local Whole Foods (and an ice cream at the Market Basket in Chelsea- was totally craving one!) and then headed back to my apartment to clean.

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When all was said and done, I walked over 26K steps and climbed 100 flights of stairs. I honestly don’t remember the last time I felt so physically, mentally and emotionally drained. Even though I am so excited about our move, it was a weird feeling to be moving out of my last “single girl” apartment.

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Thankfully, dinner and wine at Kelly’s Pub (awesome local joint in EB) made me feel muuuuuch better and I slept like a baby that night.

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Friday morning I worked from RM’s apartment for a half day and then fit in a quickie workout, which actually left me sore for a few days! I ran 1.5 miles and then did this tabata workout, which I still really loved! We went to the new apartment to do some stuff and then grabbed dinner at Jeveli’s before heading south for a weekend at the Cape.

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(Ashley P- finally opened the bottle of La Crema that you gave me a long time ago! I always save my “nice” bottles of wine and figured moving was a great time to crack it open!)

The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing- both at the house and on the beach! We had a delicious dinner on Saturday night consisting of burgers, hot dogs, chicken, sausage, rice, salad and corn on the cob.

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Sunday morning I fit in another quickie workout: run 1 mile, 4 tabata rounds (squats & lunges, push-ups & jabs, high knees & squat jacks, side dips & standing crunches), run 1 mile. Short and sweet! We attempted a day trip to Martha’s Vinyard, but logistically it didn’t work out so we ended up just heading back to Craigville Beach.

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It was the perfect beach day, but unfortunately I only made it in the water once because I got stung by a jelly fish… TWICE! Hurt so freaking bad! Roberto later got stung on his neck- it was weird! I used to think that going to the beach was such a process: packing the bags, chairs, lotion, lunches, drinks, etc., but this summer we have nailed the process and can get ready and on the beach in no time! For lunch on Sunday and Monday, we opted for “wrapless wraps”- something I think we are going to do a lot more of! Basically, we used the turkey as the “wrap”, then layered cheese, hummus and spinach and rolled it up. I also put rice in mine and Roberto put pickles in his.

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Really enjoyed this “healthier” and “lighter” lunch option!

For dinner, we stopped in at Baxters in Hyannis for a drink and then had dinner at Tugboats.

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Monday morning I went for a 3 mile jog before an earlier beach day.

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We contemplated heading back to Boston early, but the weather was just too perfect to not take advantage of it. One more beach day was well worth the traffic on the way home!

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All in all it was a really fantastic weekend, and perfect timing since last week was stressful and this week likely won’t be much different. I really focused on being present in the moment and soaking in all the goodness that the weekend brought rather than stressing about all that we have to do this week. Such a simple change in perspective really made all the difference in the world. I don’t like living in limbo and chaos, but I’m really working on not having any expectations for the rest of the move and kitchen renovations and just letting things be. If we have to eat out every night- so be it. If we don’t have a kitchen sink for a while and have to wash veggies in the bathroom- it’s only temporary. If I drink wine every night and break my “rule”, who cares! This sort of mentality doesn’t happen naturally for me, but I realize it will make the next few weeks a whole lot better if I do it!

I hope all of you had a great long weekend, too! And for those of you with recent moves, I feel your pain! I’m not sure how much I’ll be blogging this week because on top of moving I am teaching on Wednesday and subbing on Thursday (6:30pm cardio kickboxing- Wellington BSC), but I’ll pop in when I can 🙂

Questions for you: Did you grill this past weekend? Did you go to any Labor Day Parties? Do you prefer the beach, lake or pool? Was this summer busy for you or did you have time to relax?

“What Does A Healthy Person Like You Order At the Bar?”

A while back at my company outing, while standing in line to get a drink someone came up to me and said “what does a healthy person like you order at the bar?”. I had to laugh to myself because my immediate response was “whatever I feel like drinking!”, but when I thought about it a little more, I understood what she meant in her question. If health and fitness isn’t a passion of yours, making “healthy” decisions and choices may not come as easily or naturally to you. In fact, it may even be totally overwhelming for you. I’m not saying they have always come naturally to me, but at this point after all of the articles and blog posts I’ve read, choosing the healthier option generally comes pretty easy to me.

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So, with that in mind, I responded saying that I normally drink wine, well, #becausewine 😉 But I also said I drink whatever I’m feeling… in moderation. I’m not going to go out and have 5 glasses of Sangria or 5 margaritas because those can be laden with sugar and calories, but one or two? Not going to erase all my hard work. A few beers? Same thing. If I’m going to have drinks, I want them to be something I ENJOY (again, which is usually wine!). I’m not going to drink straight tequila just because it’s supposedly the “healthiest” alcohol (Paleo approved! It’s got to be good for you! <– hope you can sense my sarcasm…). And I’m not going to slay back beers because everyone is doing it- I was the girl in college ordering wine at dive bars when that totally wasn’t the “thing” to do 😉

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But, as long as I’m enjoying what I’m drinking and being mindful about my decisions, I’m not going to worry about it or regret it… well, unless I have one too many of whatever I’m drinking! Here are some tips to help me make healthier choices at the bar or restaurant:

  1. Think about what I feel like: If it’s a hot, summer day, I’ll probably want a cold, refreshing beer. If it’s a cold winter night, a nice glass of red wine. If I’m at a Mexican restaurant- hello margarita! Cocktail hour- usually white wine. Out at a bar at night- definitely white wine- way less stains that way 😉
  2. Order a water with your drink: alcohol can cause some serious dehydration and because it tastes so refreshing on a nice, hot day, you will probably drink more than intended in order to quench your thirst. However, if you drink water consistently while you’re enjoying your bevvies, you’re likely to drink less and feel less of the effects the next day.
  3. Pick one “fun” drink and then switch to something lighter: If you’re really craving a daiquiri or margarita or something else like that, have one! … but then switch to something that’s maybe not going to be filled with so many calories.
  4. Don’t let others drink choices or drink quantities influence you to do the same: I get it- you’re out getting drinks with friends or coworkers and every time your drink gets low it seems someone is ordering another round. It’s so easy to get caught up in that and then next thing you know you’ve thrown back 4-5 drinks in a short amount  of time. Not only is that possibly a recipe for a hangover, but it’s also going to up your calorie intake and if you’re looking to monitor that, you might want to skip out on a few rounds of drinks.

These may not seem like earth shattering tips, but sometimes the simplest of tips/tricks to making healthier decisions can be exactly the ones that often get forgotten. Being healthy and making healthy choices doesn’t have to be boring and doesn’t have to be all about sacrifice. Sometimes it’s more about making small compromises in order to get the best of both worlds- consistency and splurging. And lastly, even if you don’t make the “right” decisions all the time and have a night where you throw back 6 margaritas, it’s ok. If you had a blast of a night then there’s no need to fret- you can always get back on track tomorrow!

Questions for you: What’s your “go-to” drink of choice? Do you prefer simple or do you order fancy drinks? Do you have a tip to help you drink and enjoy your night mindfully?