Weekending: Red Lantern, BBQ, Grocery Shopping Fail and Festa Italiana

Good morning! How are you doing today? I slept terribly on Sunday night because of a weird stomach ache, so I feel like I’m still catching up on sleep. This past weekend was perfect in so many ways. Even though the weather was not great and ended up causing us to cancel a Cape trip, we still found lots of fun things to do. I have to admit, after having been on the road for the past number of weekends, it was nice to stick around Boston for a bit!

Friday Night

After work on Friday, I ran some errands (including trip to Lens Crafters where they replaced my glasses for $25!! So happy I bought the protection plan. Best thing ever!) and then came home and sat on my back patio for a while. It was nice- I haven’t had a chance to do that enough this summer. And, my dad told me to “watch my garden” for 10 minutes a day… does watching it for a half hour count for 3 days worth of watching? It is coming along quite well!.

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Later, RM and I went to Red Lantern for dinner. I had bought a Living Social deal a while back that was due to expire soon, so it was the perfect time to use it! Although the prices are rather high for both drinks and food, everything we had was delicious and I would definitely go back. Even better? They have a whole Gluten Free sushi menu which is awesome.

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Saturday

After teaching a very sweaty kickboxing class, I went to get a pedicure at Queen Bee Nails- my favorite place to get them! Between my nails and new toe color, I’m going a little bright with my colors this summer. It’s a fun change!

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In the afternoon, RM and I headed to my friend Amy’s apartment for a drink with a few other friends before going to a summer BBQ at Rachel and Dan’s apartment. We had lots of good food and about a million good laughs while playing Cards Against Humanity. That game gets funnier every time I play it!

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The best part about Saturday afternoon parties? You still get home early… I am so old!

Sunday

I woke up and did some yoga and core work while RM made us some delicious Pumpkin Walnut Banana Protein Paleo pancakes. I’m not a big pancake person but these are amazing because they actually keep me full for a long time!

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Once we were digested, we headed out for a long power walk. I think we covered about 3.5 miles before calling it quits to *attempt* grocery shopping. Have you heard about all the Market Basket drama?? We hadn’t, so you can imagine our faces when we walked in and were faced with this scene:

IMG_8135 IMG_8136It was the craziest thing ever- we literally couldn’t even shop because there was NOTHING to choose from. So frustrating. I hope everything gets settled and back to normal asap!

We headed to RM’s mom’s house for a late afternoon lunch/early dinner. She is from Italy and makes the most amazing food, which yesterday included Eggplant parmesan with home grown eggplants. Wow. It was SO good and I’m so happy she gave me leftovers to eat this week!

Later in the evening, we met up with some of his friends/family at the Festa Italiana, which is an Italian Festival/Fair in Newton. There was live music, beer/wine, lots of fair food and rides. I love stuff like this so I was in my element!

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In addition to some delicious Carlo Rossi (I can’t say that with a straight face…), we had some oysters and an ice cream cone. No wonder why I was up all Sunday night with a stomach ache- those are dumb things to mix in one night!

All in all, though, it was a really great weekend… the only thing missing was hanging out with my family 😦 I miss them!

Questions for you: Have you been to Red Lantern? What’s your favorite Sushi roll? Where do you get your pedicures? Have you been to any BBQ’s this summer?

Weekending: A busy, but relaxing weekend {Tia’s, visitors, beach day, Bostonia, soaking up the sun}

Hi there! How are you today? Anyone have this week off? I’m hoping to take Thursday off, which would be a nice addition to the long weekend!

If you’ve been reading B2B for a while, you’ve probably noticed how busy I’ve been- both during the week and on the weekends. This past weekend, although I had a lot of plans and did a lot, was relaxing on it’s own because I didn’t have multiple back to back plans that required me to hop around a lot. Besides Friday night, the rest of my weekend was totally mine for the taking, and it was the best feeling!!

Friday Night

My friend, Tim, was in town for a conference so we were able to align our schedules for Friday night. We tried to get a few more co-workers (former co-workers for me) to join us, but it didn’t work out. My sister ended up being around, so it was fun to have her join us! We started out at Tia’s because it’s the best place for after work drinks in the summer.

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I had zero intentions of going “out-out”, but between the weather, it being a Friday and being out with my sister and Tim, it ended up being a bit of an “out-out” night. Whoops! 😉 After Tia’s, we headed to Granary Tavern for a drink then to Warehouse for the last drinks. Although I woke up on Saturday feeling like I had had one too many wines, it was totally worth it!

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Saturday

After kickboxing on Saturday morning, I treated myself to a much-needed pedicure.

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Once I got home, I packed up and headed to meet my sister and her friends at a beach in Southie. I was expecting a bit of a sh*t-show beach scene with lots of loud, drunken people, but I was pleasantly surprised by how quiet and calm it was!

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After a brief nap, I agreed to a Bud Light Lime- I’m not a big beer drinker, and definitely not a Bud Light person, but there’s something about BLL’s that I just love so much! Perfect beach drink if you ask me 😉

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Saturday night was date night for RM and me. He had a gift card to Bostonia Public House, so we figured it was a perfect night to try it out. He parks at the Intercontinental Hotel and when we realized how nice it was outside, we decided to swing by their outdoor bar for a cocktail before dinner.

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We joked that it felt like we were back in Miami- I had been at the beach all day and he had been golfing and we were catching up over cocktails at a hotel bar. It was a fun “staycation” night!

Dinner at Bostonia was amazing!! We, of course, shared a few different things: Organic Baby Spinach Salad, Berber Spiced Pork Ribs, French Fries (I was craving them!) and the Scallops. They’ve got a whole Gluten Free menu which was a nice surprise!

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Everything was absolutely delicious! We both found ourselves continuously raving about the food with each bite! I don’t usually eat to being really full, but that night I left there with a very full, and very happy belly!

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Such a fun date-night! I loved being able to be out and about in the city!

Sunday

I ended up sleeping until 9, which is unheard of for me! It felt amazing 🙂 Once up, I did some yoga and core work before having a protein pancake breakfast with RM (gluten and dairy free).

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After breakfast, we went for a nice, 45 minute walk throughout Eastie. It’s a nice little thing we’ve been doing- we don’t need to be sitting on the couch all the time- a little extra is always a good thing 🙂

Later in the day we went to his brother and sister in law’s new condo to use the community pool and then had a delicious BBQ at his mom’s house. It was a perfect Sunday… and weekend, for that matter!

Questions for you: What did you do this weekend? Where’s your favorite summer bar in Boston? Have you been to Bostonia Public House?

Ps! My gym friend/in real life friend/blog friend, Athena got engaged over the weekend and I couldn’t be more happy for her and Tim! They are such a great couple:) congrats again, lady!!!

This Week: Workouts, increase in running mileage and things I’m looking forward to

Good morning! What a gorgeous weekend we had, right?! It’s amazing what a good dose of Vitamin D, warm weather and outdoor cocktails can do for your (my) mood. Another thing good weather is for? Running outside. This past week, I amped up my running for some odd reason. I’m not one for running more than a couple of days in a week, but it felt good this week so I ended up running 4 days! It’s definitely not my favorite way to workout, but sometimes my regular workouts get boring and I need to change things up.

Last Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I taught my 6am Muscle Work class and then did 30 minutes on the elliptical after.
  • Tuesday- I ran 5 miles after work!!! I’ve been capping my runs at 4 miles lately and decided it was time to amp it up a bit. It wasn’t my fastest mile times, but it felt pretty good.

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  • Wednesday- I ran 3 miles along the Charles before teaching UXF Burn.
  • Thursday- I taught SHRED (which left me SO sore) and then Cardio Kickboxing. I almost had a meltdown because I realized I forgot my socks and teaching for 2 hours sans socks would’ve been a really miserable experience. Luckily, a random (seemingly normal and hygienic) lady in the locker room volunteered an extra pair of clean socks to the cause- I was so thankful! She forgot her sports bra, but unfortunately I didn’t have anything to give her there.
  •  Friday- Friday’s are usually my rest days but since I wasn’t teaching on Saturday and was going to a surprise birthday party that night, I decided to workout. My plan was just to run 2 miles then do yoga, but I ended up running 3 miles and then doing about 20 minutes of yoga and my standing ab workout. I was sore before I worked out and even more sore after. Whoops!
  • Saturday- I did A LOT of manual work with my dad. He came down to start my garden for me and I lugged so many heavy bags of soil mixes and wood and shoveled so much- phew!

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  • Sunday- I went for another run- 4 miles this time- with and average of 8 min/mile, which is pretty fast for me. I also did some core work.

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This Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- My plan is to do a strength workout during my lunch break since I won’t have access to the gym for much longer (more on that later!). I’m not going to do cardio today since last week was cardio heavy.
  • Tuesday- I have plans after work (going away party for work- again, more on that later!) so I’ll get up in the morning and probably run and do core work.
  • Wednesday- Running and then teaching UXF Burn.
  • Thursday- Teaching SHRED and then cardio kickboxing.
  • Friday- Likely a rest day or yoga day. I don’t think I’ll have to work so that means I have plenty of time for something.
  • Saturday- I’ll finally be back at the Oak Square YMCA for my cardio kickboxing class- I missed you guys last week!
  • Sunday- Probably nothing. I think I’ll be in NH Saturday night and then heading to Maine on Sunday for Memorial Day weekend.

Increase in Running Mileage- how much is too much?

Last week I ran 15 miles, which is more than I’ve run in a long time. I get a little nervous about doing that much running in a week because I’m afraid of getting injured (and since I’m still teaching my regular fitness classes). I’m by no means a “runner” and have developed injuries in the past when I’ve run too much, but lately I’ve really been enjoying it. I think part of the reason is because I’ve had a lot on my mind and running is a good way to zone out and think about things. It’s also been fun to see how my speed changes depending on whether I run at night or in the morning and I’ve been pleased that, for the most part, my speed keeps increasing. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep at it, but for now I’m just soaking it all in.

Things I’m Looking Forward To

Phew. Lots of stuff this week! I’m looking forward to having some time off at the end of the week and celebrating with work people after work on Tuesday. I’m also looking forward to Memorial Day weekend. The boy and I are going to his Uncle’s birthday party/pig roast on Saturday and then we will head up to Maine on Sunday for a BBQ at my parents house (I think!). It will be nice to be around friends and family and really kick off the summer. I just hope the warm, sunny weather is here to stay 🙂

Questions for you: What was the best workout you had last week? Are you a “runner”? What’s your advice for increasing mileage and/or speed in a way that avoids getting injured and not overworking yourself? What are you looking forward to this week?

ClassPass in Review: Thoughts & Reviews of Classes

Well, I’m sad to say that my month ClassPass membership has come and gone. Where the heck did those 30 days go?! Since my pass is done, though, I wanted to take some time to share my thoughts on the experience, as well as a brief overview of the classes that I was able to take in and around the Boston area.

Core Fusion Cardio- Exhale Spa

  • Location: Battery Warf
  • Website: http://www.boston.exhalespa.com/boston-battery-wharf-class-schedule
  • Instructor: Chrissy Snyder
  • Thoughts: It’s no surprise that I LOVED this class. I love everything about Exhale Spa. I think the classes are challenging, but rewarding, the instructors are super knowledgeable and the whole experience is worth a visit. I love that they have a phenomenal locker room because it’s nice to be able to shower after a class and carry on with the rest of my day.
  • Review: Exhale Spa: Core Fusion Fest

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Velo 45- Velo City

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Pursuit 45- Pursuit Boston

  • Location: Back Bay- Boylston Street
  • Website: http://pursuitboston.com/pages/schedule
  • Instructor: Amanda Lilley
  • Thoughts: I loved Pursuit Boston! Everyone was super friendly, the space was airy and bright, the energy was high and they had a shower (or 2?) that you could use after the class. They also had plenty of places to change and even had an area to stretch and use weights. The class didn’t use weights, but they are adding new “boot camp” cycle classes soon. They also had some shoes to borrow and provided free hair elastics and chapstick and your first class is free. Lastly, they offer a bunch of special packages which are worth checking out. I highly suggest trying it out.
  • Reviews: This Week: Workouts {lots of teaching again}, Review of Velo City & Pursuit Boston, Things I’m looking forward to

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Exhale Flow Yoga- Exhale Spa

  • Location: Battery Warf
  • Website: http://www.boston.exhalespa.com/boston-battery-wharf-class-schedule
  • Instructor: Michael Alba
  • Thoughts: This class was exactly what I needed the day that I went. It was a Sunday morning class, so the energy was peaceful and the instructor was amazing. Michael walked around throughout the class and assisted us, which I love. He helped me get deeper into poses so I could push myself past my boundaries and get the full effect of the post. The flow was well planned out and had smooth transitions. I left the class feeling 100 times better than when I went in!

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Request Ride- Recycle Studio

  • Location: Back Bay- Newbury Street
  • Website: http://www.recycle-studio.com/schedule-2/
  • Instructor: Linsday Bucci
  • Thoughts: Again, it’s no surprise that I loved this class.  Out of all the cycling studio’s I’ve been to in Boston, Recycle stands true to be my favorite. I feel like it’s the best total body workout because we do chest presses, triceps pushes, core exercises and upper body weight routines all while on the saddle. Lindsay’s classes are awesome because her playlists are amazing, her words are motivating and she has us in 2nd or 3rd position most of the time, which I love since I hate sitting in the saddle for too long! The only thing I think Recycle lacks compared to other indoor cycling studios is the fact that they don’t offer a free first class… or anything free for that matter. Shoe rentals are $2 and they charge for elastics and other little things like that that most other studios offer for free.
  • Review: #hellyesyoucan {My First Recycle Studio Experience}

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Fly 45- Flywheel Boston

  • Location: Back Bay- Prudential Center
  • Website: http://boston.flywheelsports.com/reserve/back-bay
  • Instructor: Jessica L
  • Thoughts: Meh. I wasn’t feeling this class, partly because it was a Friday morning, which means I’m usually beat from my double on Thursday night and partly because the room was more empty than full. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the instructor’s music, choreography or instruction style. However, I have been to classes there that I loved- Ana is an amazingggg instructor, so I would suggest a class with her! I love that Flywheel is huge, so it can fit a lot of people. I also like that there is a score board- I was concerned about this at first, but the fact that they only put that up when they want you to race and challenge yourself makes it a great tool! All of your rides are stored within your profile, so you can see your progress throughout the weeks, which is cool. Shoe rentals are free (yay), your first class is free (double yay) and they have hair elastics. There are a few showers to use as well.
  • Reviews: Indoor Cycling at Flywheel, ClassPass is here!

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Pilates Mat ReMIXX- Boston Body

  • Location: Back Bay- Newbury Street
  • Website: http://www.bostonbody.com/locations-schedules/boston-new/
  • Instructor: Jessica L
  • Thoughts: I loved this class! It was a nice change of pace from my usual high-intensity, high-impact workouts. This was the same instructor as the Flywheel instructor and I have to say I liked her a lot better in this environment! She gave a great workout- we did weights at the beginning that literally made my arms cry. I was embarrassed that I had to take breaks with 3lb. weights! From there we moved to some core work and then the glute work, which, again, killed me. I couldn’t even finish a set, which actually got kind of discouraging. I like to be challenged and feel the burn, but I also like to be able to achieve the task at hand. Oh well, something to work towards! I liked the studio space a lot and the employees were super friendly. They offer a wide range of Pilates classes.
  • Review: This Week: Workouts & Things I’m Looking Forward To {Birthday Week pt 1}

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Pilates Tower- Studio J

  • Location: Government Center
  • Website: https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/ASP/home.asp?studioid=44032
  • Instructor: Kristina Shumsky
  • Thoughts: LOVED it. I was lucky enough to end up having a private lesson with Kristina and she was amazing. She asked about my fitness levels, areas of concern and what I would like to achieve during our half hour and went to town. We did all sorts of stuff that left me quite humbled. I liked that the majority of the classes were just a half hour- it was a nice change from the usual 45-60 minute commitment. We used the tower machines, which can be intimidating at first, but they are really an amazing tool. The studio has only been opened for about 2 months, but they offer a number of pilates and yoga classes. I definitely suggest trying it out and maybe you could be lucky and have a private, too.
  • Review: This Week: Workouts & Things I’m Looking Forward To {Birthday Week pt 1}

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As you can see, I was able to jump around to a number of different studios to try out a nice variety of classes. The beauty of ClassPass is that it doesn’t allow you to visit the same studio more than 3 times in a month, which is great because it forces you to venture out and try new places. It would have been easy for me to go to the same studio and class throughout the month, but I tried to branch out and try classes and studios that I may not have tried otherwise.

Although I absolutely love ClassPass and think it is the most brilliant idea, there are some “cons” to the system that I found out as I learned more about the membership. I feel it’s only fair for me to share these with you, too. They definitely aren’t deal breakers for me, but rather just things to keep in mind!

  • You have to schedule your class 24 hours + in advance. While this isn’t a huge deal, it can be frustrating when you realize you can take a class the next morning, yet you can’t actually book it since it’s less than 24 hours away. It can be hard to plan out your week of workouts days in advance, but it’s kind of necessary to do when using ClassPass.
  • You can’t cancel a class. Once you book the class, you’re committed to it, otherwise you lose your class and have to pay $20. I do have to say, though, that when this happened to me (totally on accident), they waived the fee and gave me the class back. I wonder what would happen if you learned you could no longer take a class you signed up to take? I bet if you emailed them an let them know about the situation they would help you.
  • Not all classes at a particular participating studio are included in the ClassPass schedule. I’m not sure why this is the case (maybe because they are “high demand” classes and fill up on their own with non ClassPass members?), but it’s something to be aware of.

As you can see, my “cons” aren’t anything too major, especially if you know about them in advance. Otherwise, I think ClassPass is absolutely worth the money for a month membership. With the number of participating studios seemingly increasing on the daily, you’re sure to find a class that fits your need/want for a particular day. Whether it be a high intensity cardio class, barre class, Pilates class, yoga class or spin class, you can find something both in the city and the city’s surrounding towns.

Thank you, again, to ClassPass for providing me with a membership to see what it was all about. It was such a fun month!

Disclaimer: Although I was provided with a free month membership to CLassPass, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Questions for you: Have you been to any of the classes or studios I’ve listed above? Have any of you signed up for ClassPass?

 

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?