Life Lately: November 2014

Time for a life post! I have to bring you guys up to speed on the last two months, but since December was chock full of holiday fun, I’m only giving you November for now. This way you don’t have to scroll and scroll and scroll.

Life Lately

Tim and I kicked off November with dinner out at Brio Tuscan Grille in Chestnut Hill. The occasion? Our parents had never met before! Can you guys even believe that? All went well, and our food was great. We wanted to have them meet before the holidays and before our wedding planning picks up next month.

Brio Tuscan Grille

Then we both traveled for work during the first week of November. I went to Minnesota to do a couple of Stress Less seminars for our staff out there and to be there for the MN health fair. Everything went really smoothly, I got to lead a plank contest and a stretch session during the event, and the wellness champions out there organized an after work 5k race. I just love our Minnesota staff members. Everyone is so active and engaged with the wellness program, which makes for a nice change of pace.

Minnesota Health Fair 2014

Minnesota Health Fair 2014

Tim and I both had a long day of travel home on Friday at the end of the week. I landed around noon, caught a cab home from the airport, went through emails while eating lunch, and then I had to shower and get ready to go back to the airport to get Tim and head to Worcester for wedding #7 of 2014. It took us three hours to get from Boston to Worcester, and we were both exhausted, but we rallied and somehow managed to find the energy to celebrate Pete and Andrea’s special night!

Pete and Andrea's Wedding Pete and Andrea's Wedding

The rest of that weekend we pretty much did nothing! We finally got to spend some fall time outside with each other on a long walk, and it was nice to just relax and rejuvenate.

Tim and Me on a Fall HikeThe Best Yes

The following week, I hosted a girls night for my friends Allison, Shannon, and Tracy from home on Thursday. We spent it drinking wine and catching up over a good meal. I made a gnocchi and squash casserole with greens (hard to please a vegetarian AND two picky eaters!), Allison brought a salad, Shannon the wine and cheese and crackers, and Tracy brownies. It was perfect!

Butternut Squash with Gnocchi and KaleThe following night I headed over to Slesh’s apartment to hang out while we waited for our friend Erica to arrive. Erica was in town for one of the three parties that Tim and I were triple booked for on Saturday, and since I knew I probably wasn’t going to be able to make it to the one Erica was here for, I wanted to make sure I got some quality time in with her! Slesh and I hung out and drank wine (seems to be a theme, huh?), got dinner ready, and talked about some wedding related things before Erica got there. The rest of the night was spent catching up with both friends, and I felt lucky having two really great girls nights in a row. Slesh also made the most delicious chocolate chip cookies!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

On Saturday, our friends Ashley and Bret had a housewarming party, so we went over there for party #1. We brought the cranberry avocado salsa that I posted the other day, and we spent a lot of time chatting with my gym friend Jess and her fiancé Chris. Both Chris and Tim are foodies, so we knew they would hit it off!

Cranberry Avocado Salsa

Ashley and Bret's Housewarming

After a couple of hours spent at Ashley and Bret’s house, we headed out to party #2. Our friends Cate and Joe were hosting people at their house for Cate’s 30th birthday before heading out to celebrate with drinks at Howl at the Moon in Patriots Place. We had a ton of fun, but unfortunately we didn’t make it to party #3 which was a goodbye party for other friends of ours who are moving to LA. It was just too much to do in one night.

Cate's 30th Bday

Finally, I wrapped up that weekend with brunch at Johnny D’s in Somerville with Slesh, Erica, and Bridget! I was happy to see Erica one last time before she headed back to New York. This is awkwardly the only picture I have from that morning, via Bridget’s snap chat. We are weird. Sorry, Slesh.


The next week was the Massachusetts health fair week, so work was very stressful, but like Minnesota, the event went really well. We opened the day with a big presentation in our auditorium, we had multiple ed sessions throughout the day, my friend Dawn won the plank contest, and we did yoga. I was so relieved when the day was over (in a good way). Planning a big event like that for hundreds of people is not easy!

MA Health Fair 2014

Note Tim awkwardly getting fitted for orthodics. Haha! After the health fair, Tim and I went out for a celebratory dinner and much-needed margaritas at El Centro, a new Mexican place that opened in Belmont center. Loved!

El Centro in Belmont

The rest of the weekend was exactly what I needed after the health fair craziness. On Friday, I worked from home and met up with Dawn for a Whole Foods lunch date, and then Tim and I stayed put on our couch that night.

Whole Foods Salad Bar

I was supposed to teach another Athleta class on Saturday morning, but unfortunately it got canceled. Instead, I went on a morning hike and out to breakfast with some of my gym friends.

Gym Friends Hike

Since we met before 8am, we were done with our workout and breakfast by 11ish. I loved having the rest of the day to run some errands, prepare for Friendsgiving on Sunday, and relax!

Thanksgiving 2014

Sunday was Friendsgiving at Slesh’s, which you guys already read about in my Thanksgiving post a couple of weeks ago.

Thanksgiving 2014

That week at work was a short week. On Thanksgiving Day itself, Tim and I did a quick workout before splitting the holiday between both of our families.

Thanksgiving 2014

The rest of the weekend was spent teaching a post Thanksgiving class, grabbing another breakfast out with the gym girls, and hanging in on Friday night. On Saturday, I got all the details for my Holiday Hustle Challenge ready, we went out to lunch with our friends who were in town, and we saw Tim’s sister and her boyfriend for margaritas back at El Centro at night. Finally, I wrapped up the weekend and month at my friend Nicole’s baby shower.

Nicole's Baby Shower

And that was my November! December and holiday update coming soon.

–Let’s chat–
I would normally ask how your Novembers were, but that seems like ages ago now. Instead, tell me what you guys have going on for New Year’s Eve tonight. Going out? Staying in?

Tim and I are going out to dinner at Solea on Moody Street, and then we are stopping by Hopsters to see what their Happy Brew Year shindig is all about. We wanted to keep it low-key without staying in. Whatever you guys are doing, have fun tonight! Be safe!

Minnesota Eats

Last week I had tons of yummy eats while traveling for work with my co-worker, Ros.  For this trip, we were out in Minnesota about 20 minutes outside of Minneapolis.  Like I usually do on the first day on the road, Ros and I stopped at Target to stock up on snacks and breakfast to have on hand for the week!  I always ask for a fridge in my hotel room, and it definitely helps to have some healthier options to choose from instead of needing to use the vending machines.

Minnesota Snacks


My breakfasts throughout the week included hard-boiled eggs (from continental breakfast), oatmeal (also from continental breakfast), and/or the yogurts you see above.

Minnesota Breakfast

Breakfast was always a quick grab and go, as I spent most of my early mornings in the gym instead of sitting down to leisurely eat.


On the first day we stopped at The General Store for lunch.  I got a turkey sandwich with a side salad.  It was so beautiful out, so we sat outside to get some sun before heading to the office.

Minnesota: The General Store

For the majority of our other lunches, we found a natural foods store down the street from the office called Lakewinds.  I ordered a variety of their salads throughout the week.

The red pepper quinoa with broccoli and mushrooms…

Minnesota: Lakewinds Quinoa
A white bean salad that I topped with a piece of grilled salmon…

Minnesota: Lakewinds Bean Salad

And a couscous, spinach, and feta salad too.

Minnesota: Lakewinds Couscous salad

For lunch on Thursday, one of the groups was doing a “tailgating before the team-building” group lunch. Since I had splurged a bit on beers and apps the night before with my friend Sarah, I stuck with the salad, some deviled eggs, and some of my snacks that I brought with me.

Minnesota: Group Lunch


Finally, our dinners were awesome!

Monday we ate at a place called Wildfire.  I ordered a Greek salad, the lemon pepper wood oven chicken, and a side of their autumn Brussels sprouts.

Minnesota: Wildfire

Tuesday was my favorite meal of the week.  One of our co-workers recommended a place called Barrio in Edina.  It was uh-maze-ing.  I got a glass of sangria, munched on some chips and guacamole, and ordered the grilled shrimp entree for my meal.  The shrimp was marinated with garlic, ancho, and chipotle chile and they were served with quinoa, avocado, cucumber, and salsa.  So good!

Minnesota: Barrio

On Wednesday I was so excited for dinner because I got to meet up with my friend Sarah from college!  Sarah and I danced on the Providence College Dance Company together, and she moved out to the Minnesota area about 9 months ago.  I couldn’t believe she was so close to my company’s office, but I was psyched to see her and catch up with a friendly face.  We could have talked ALL NIGHT about the things we’re doing and feeling so passionately about.  Dinner was at Maynard’s, and we split the bruschetta and I was boring and ordered a Cobb salad for my entrée.

Minnesota: Maynard's

Finally, on the last night Ros and I tried a restaurant called Crave.  Another for the win meal.  I got a glass of white wine, a really yummy Caprese salad for an appetizer, and a flounder entrée with orzo and artichokes and guacamole.

Minnesota: Crave

Minnesota: Crave 2

We certainly never go hungry while on the road!

Any readers live out in the Minnesota area?  Any recommendations for the next time I’ll be out that way?

P.S. To all my Fall Into Fitness readers, keep at this week!  You guys are doing great!

Weekly Eats {More from Atlanta}

Let’s hear it for short weeks!  I guess today is technically like a Wednesday since my last day of work for the week is tomorrow?  Who knows, but I’ll take it.  All I know is that I’m excited for my return to Two A Day Tuesday tonight.  Liz and I have been separated for far too long.  If you are around, come for a double before celebrating for the fourth.  I promise it will be worth your while.

Weekly Eats

As you guys know, last week I was on the road for work.  Typically that means a LOT of meals out, which can definitely add up to a lot of extra calories.  Typically I try to abide by my one out of three rule (bread, drink, or a dessert… but not all three); however this week it was more like two out of three.  Not every single night, but most nights I did eat either some type of bread product AND get a drink.  Since I was able to get some solid workouts in, I was okay with my decision and had fun with Patrice, but I definitely don’t want to get into this habit.  I was happy for that “clean Monday feeling” yesterday and for a week where I won’t be having an alcoholic beverage every single night!  Although with the holiday this week, we shall see.

Here’s the rundown of my food highlights:


Sandwiches galore!  Rising Roll did not disappoint:


California turkey… turkey, pear, and goat cheese… and a grilled chicken and portobello panini.  All on multi-grain.  Looks like by the end of the week I got bored of photographing my lunches, but they were both grilled chicken.

Dinners were definitely the highlight though.

A group go to for Atlanta travel, Seasons 52.  We ordered the double hummus for an appetizer, which came with mint edamame hummus and roasted red pepper hummus.

Seasons 52 Double Hummus

For my entrée, I ordered the lemongrass salmon on top of organic field lettuce, pineapple, mango, jicama, and toasted sesame dressing.  SO good.  Unpictured I did make a good dessert decision and ordered a little fruit cup.

We tried a new place called Park Tavern in Piedmont Park.  We got to sit outside, and there were some bootcamp classes going on right near us.  I was trying to sneak some peeks for some new moves!  Anyways, I ordered the pan roasted crab cakes over a salad and topped with pico de gallo.

Park Tavern Crab Cake Salad

I also ordered a side corn and black bean salad and added that into the mix.  Topped with fresh avocado cilantro vinaigrette, this was right up my alley!  After dinner, we strolled through the park, which was perfect.

Wednesday was our longest day and the one that didn’t get off to such a great start.  Perfect night for Mexican and margaritas, if you ask me.  Tin Lizzy’s had an hour wait, so we ended up trying a new Mexican place instead, Nuevo Laredo.  I ordered shrimp fajitas on wheat tortillas after chowing down on chips and salsa.

Nuevo Laredo Shrimp Fajitas

And margs were a given!  This prickly pear flavor was to die for.  That is, if you can even see it in this picture next to Patrice’s drink the size of her head!  How funny is that?!

Nuevo Laredo Margarita

Another excellent meal, this time at Brio Tuscan Grille.  I loved this place when Sheila and I went in March, and I really wanted to go back.  I had my second favorite drink of the week, the white peach sangria.  Loved.

Brio White Peach Sangria

And for my meal, the salmon griglia.

Salmon Griglia

The rest of the week I ate the healthier snacks that I stocked up on at Trader Joe’s when we arrived.  Basically bananas, Greek yogurts, unsalted cashews, Clif bars, and apples.

Trader Joe's Snacks

I also housed these on the plane ride home:

Wholesome Medley Snack
Nom. Nom. Nom.

Tim was also traveling last week, so by the time we both got in from our trips, there was no way we felt like anything homecooked.  On Friday night we ended up going out to eat.  I wasn’t exactly in the mood to go out again since I went out all week, but it beat having to make something myself.  We grabbed a pizza and a salad at Za in Arlington.  I’ve always wanted to try it there since my girlfriends and I joke about za all the time instead of saying pizza.

For our salad, we ordered a little tower of avocado, black bean, tomato, red onion, cheddar cheese, pickled jalapeño (yes I could eat this!), red pepper and cilantro with cumin lime vinaigrette and tortilla crunch on the top.

Za Salad

And for our pizza – grilled chicken, broccoli, caramelized onion, fresh garlic, diced tomato, EVOO, and four cheeses.  Yum.  Hit the spot.

Za Specialty Pizza

On Saturday we went over to Joe and Cate’s house for a BBQ, but I didn’t take a picture of a single thing!  There were cheese and crackers, guac, burgers, a few salads, and more.  We brought a caprese salad over.  It was nice to see them because we never do anymore!  Sadface.

For this week, our rough meal plan for dinner includes:

  • Sunday: Shrimp and veggie skewers
  • Monday:  Eggplant and chickpea salad
  • Tuesday:  Salmon and swiss chard
  • Wednesday:  Bok choy veggie wraps
  • Thursday:  4th of July BBQ
  • Friday:  Leftovers of some kind
  • Saturday:  TBD!

All right, friends, I think that’s enough food talk.  Time to tackle the day!

Anyone making anything fun for the 4th of July this weekend?

If you are looking for any red, white, and blue recipe ideas, check out my Holiday Eats page.  I have a few posted there!