Life Lately {August 2014}

August was yet another crazy month.

Life Lately

I had a total of two weekends with minimal plans at the beginning of the month, so I tried to soak up as much spontaneity as I could. We kicked off that first weekend with an impromptu get together at our friend Sam’s parents’ house. Sam lives in DC and was home for the weekend, so his parents hosted a lot of friends and family. They own an organic farm in Wrentham, so it was thrilling to go to a dinner party and pile my plate like this:

Sam's Parents House

Saturday morning I woke up bright and early to join my friends Liz and Alice at a btone class in Lexington.

btone fitness lexington

We took the Tone N Torch class, which was an awesome combination of cardio blasts and strength training exercises on the Megaformer machines. I used my free ClassPass trial to attend this class, but I’m sad to say that I am officially the worst ClassPass user in the entire world! This has nothing to do with ClassPass not being awesome (um, hello, it gives you access to so many AMAZING studios around the city), but for my crazy schedule this year, I really didn’t get a chance to put it to good use. Several of the studios are smack in the middle of the city, and it’s hard for me to commute into the city when I work outside of Boston. Unfortunately, this spring and summer I’ve had to choose the convenience of working out close to home over trying new fitness things in the city to maximize on time. ClassPass, I’m sorry that I can’t give you a fair review on F&F, but maybe you’ll let me try again someday!!

After my Saturday morning workout, I remember having a day to just LOUNGE, and then Tim and I had a date night in the city. We tried Merchant, and even though the food and drinks did not disappoint, the vibe was a bit slow and empty. I thought maybe it was just the night, but I went with my friends from home a couple of weeks later only to find the same thing. Meh.


On Sunday, we headed back into the city to meet up with my friends Meghan and Erin because Meg was in town from DC! We grabbed brunch at Temazcal by the seaport, and then spent the rest of the day having a Sunday Funday at Harpoon Brewery. It was so great to catch up with these friends!

Harpoon Brewery TourHarpoon Brewery

The following week I had a really awesome Thursday night out with my old roommates. Slesh, Katrina, Bridget, and I met at Gather downtown for dinner and drinks. Highly recommend! I also asked the girls that night to be in my wedding, and you bet we caused a scene. More on that in another post, but that night was exactly what I needed.

Gather Boston

That weekend included two days of some much-needed beach and sun time along with dinner out with my friends from home at Papagayo.

Carson Beach

Then things picked right back up again! There was one weekend in August where I had a wedding, a bridal shower, and my dad’s 60th birthday party all in 24 hours.

Cristin and Andy’s wedding was so beautiful and BOSTON! Check out this view from our hotel room.

Cristin and Andy's Wedding

They got married in a church located in Cristin’s hometown, but the party was under a tent at the Hyatt Harborside. Cristin looked beautiful, and it was a fun night seeing friends I used to work with! We barely get to see each other anymore.

Cristin and Andy's Wedding

Cristin and Andy's Wedding

Cristin and Andy's Wedding

Cristin and Andy's Wedding

The next morning I woke up early to book it to my friend Patrice’s bridal shower. Unfortunately, since it was the same day as my dad’s 60th birthday party, I couldn’t make it to the luncheon part, but Patrice’s bridesmaids organized a fun little pre-shower paint party at the Paint Bar for her. I was happy to at least be able to make it to part of Patrice’s special day. We painted flowers, and the colors of the painting were chosen to match the colors for the wedding. I loved this idea so much.

Paint Bar for Patrice's Shower

After the shower I rushed home to prep a few things, then Tim and I made our way to my parents’ house for my dad’s birthday party. We had a lot of fun with family, ate and drank, danced and played games in the yard, and reminisced as my dad opened his gifts. I put together a memory book for him where each guest submitted a few of their favorite memories of my dad. I called it Sixty Plus Memories For Sixty Years of Chuck.

Dad's 60th Birthday

Dads 60th Birthday

Dads 60th BirthdayDads 60th Birthday

The following weekend brought me to New Jersey for my friend Erica’s bridal shower! On Friday night, Bridget, Erica, Kelly, and I stayed at Erica’s parents’ condo. We had a lovely meal, toasted champagne, and just caught up. The shower was held at Erica’s godmother’s beautiful home, and the weather held out for us! It was such a great day celebrating one of my best friends, and I plan to recap it more soon because I have so many awesome pictures from the day.

Erica's Bridal Shower

After the shower, Slesh and I stayed at her parents’ house in Connecticut to break up our ride home. It was another great night of just sitting back and chatting over wine. It’s funny how sometimes it takes traveling to NJ or CT to slow down, huh?

The end of August was spent in full wedding planning mode. I felt like all I did was research venues, call venues, and go to venues, but at least I had my birthday weekend to wrap up the month. I turned 29, and let me tell you that 29 is completely and utterly UNEXCITING. And I loved every second of it. It was the first year I didn’t care to celebrate much at all and wanted something really low key. Tim got me flowers and tickets to go see The Lion King in October, which I’m psyched about because I’ve never seen that show, and I’ve always wanted to go.

Birthday Weekend: 29

On Saturday, we spent the day with my parents first at a couple of venues but then at Duxbury beach for the afternoon. At night we had dinner and drinks at The Olde Salte House in Cohasset. On Sunday (my actual birthday), we headed up to Newburyport for a day trip with Slesh and Will. We got some more beach time in, and then grabbed a couple of drinks at The Black Cow on the waterfront. I loved it there, and I’m not sure how I hadn’t discovered it before!

29th Birthday in Newburyport29th Birthday in Newburyport

After our day trip, we headed home and Tim took me out to dinner at Dante. We were going to eat on their outdoor patio that overlooks the Charles, but it was pouring so we had to stay put inside. I was bummed, but we still had a great night out and enjoyed an awesome meal and a bottle of wine. After dinner, we continued our night at one of our favorite bars down the street, Mead Hall.

29th Birthday Dinner and Drinks

And that was my August!

–Let’s chat–
How did August treat you? Even though we’re well into September, what’s something great that already happened this month or what else are looking forward to?

I was happy to kick off my September with a week off from work and a long weekend getaway to Portland, one of our favorite places. We also had a free weekend last weekend and another one coming up this weekend. I’m excited that September has slowed down, but I cannot wait for Erica and Chris’s wedding festivities in NYC in less than two weeks! Eeek!

28th Birthday Recap

Happy Friday!

Most people I know were thrilled about this short work week, but I honestly could use an extra weekday before heading away for the weekend.  Don’t hate me for saying that.  Things have been a little hectic at work this week and between teaching on Tuesday, working late on Wednesday, and birthday dinner with the fam last night I haven’t had a chance to catch up on anything else going on.  My apartment feels messy and my inbox is overflowing.  It’s all good though!

Anyways, I know I mentioned my birthday a bunch over the past week or two, but I wanted to do an official recap here.

Work Birthday

First up was my work celebration.  In my group, everyone has a birthday buddy who organizes a gathering on a day around your birthday.  Then they bring in treats and everyone signs a card.  Don’t worry, Baka, my co-workers don’t sing to me.  Julia had me and brought in an assortment of goodies.  That pomegranate frozen yogurt gelato bar was a nice afternoon treat.

28th Birthday at Work

People can also opt to bring in little gifts for each other if they want to, and I think it’s funny that half of my presents revolved around food and/or wine in some way.  Check out the wine to go cup from Patrice!


The other half of my presents included some candles, flowers, and two Jock Jams CD’s.  Yup, Jock Jams (pumped).  Thank you to my group at work for the thoughtful celebration and new things!

Friends Birthday

Next up was a celebration with friends.  Last Friday night I met a lot of my friends out at the Asgard in Central Square.  I felt a little silly because there were a lot of people who came!  Doesn’t it seem weird in a way to ask people to come celebrate such a random birthday?  It’s not like 28 is any type of milestone.  Nonetheless, I felt very lucky because my home friends, girlfriends, and gym friends all met me out!  It was so nice of everyone to come, and I had such a great time.  Here are some scenes from the night:

Home Friends 28th Birthday

Me & Slesh Birthday

28th Birthday Friends

28th Birthday Friends

28th Me & Monique

Gym Friends 28th Birthday

Thanks to everyone who came out!

Boyfriend Birthday

Saturday was my actual birthday, and I was a bit bummed that I was hungover and the weather wasn’t all that great.  Tim and I originally were going to have a beach day up North before my birthday dinner, but instead we opted to go to Walden Pond in the afternoon.  We still got to sit out but it wasn’t the same!  The highlight of my birthday day itself was definitely dinner at Towne Stove and Spirits.  They have a super pretty patio, and we sat outside to enjoy the nice night.  Plus our food and drinks were amazing.  I loved it there, and can’t wait to go back!

Towne Stove & Spirits

Towne Stove & Spirits

Towne Stove & Spirits

Also, before we went out Tim gave me my birthday presents which were clearly fitness related!  Probably only Monique and Lauren can appreciate how excited I am about my new Dynamax ball and my new Core Grid foam roller.  Stoked about both!

Family Birthday

Finally, my celebration with the fam was a little belated because my brother was away over Labor Day weekend.  We got together last night at the Cambridge Brewing Company in Kendall Square.  It was a little chilly, but I still wanted to sit on their outdoor patio to try and squeeze in as much more “summer” as I can get.  We all had tasty meals and hopefully I introduced my parents to a new spot!

28th Bday Family

28th Bday Tim

And that’s about it.  Another birthday come and gone… I feel kind of old!

How do you like to celebrate your birthdays?

I’m off to Rhode Island for the weekend for my friend Ashley’s wedding!  Catch you guys on Monday!

Twenty Eight

Today is my 28th birthday.


I honestly feel that I wrote this post just yesterday for my 27th.  I re-read it on Thursday night and it really hit home for me.  Last year at this time I was going through a lot of personal things, all while moving in with a boy for the first time, starting my new position at my full-time job, and taking on a new part-time position at the Y.  I remember being so excited for all that change, but slowly realizing that all that change was actually too much for me to handle at once.  I would probably say I spent the majority of 27 working, wondering, and just trying to stay afloat.  My “me” time and social life definitely suffered, but I think it was a small price to pay because when I look back on the year I realize that I have done so much.  I finally learned how to manage and work through my stress and anxiety issues.  That alone was huge for me.  I rid myself of toxic friendships and surrounded myself instead with people I genuinely wanted to be around.  Working so much also allowed me to save up some money, but more importantly working so much also let me do some soul-searching.  I discovered what I love to do, what I thought I loved to do, what I want to do and what I don’t want to do.  And of course I don’t have ALL the answers, and I probably never will, but I can confidently say that going into 28 I finally feel satisfied with where I am in both my career and personal life.  And I feel happy with who I am.

salad club lunch



Summer Shanty - Me & Tony

Summer Shanty - Mom & Dad

Katrina's 28th Birthday

I do have some new life updates to share with you guys, and today seems like a good day to share!  Effective Monday 9/9 I am no longer going to be in the group exercise coordinator position at the Y.  The healthy living department has done some re-shuffling, so to speak, and all my responsibilities are transitioning to Lauren who has a full-time coordinator position there.  At first I was a little upset about this, because I have put so much effort, time, energy, etc. into my role at the Y in the past year, and I think I did a pretty damn good job!  But the more I think about it the more I’m okay with it.  Things with the wellness program at work are in full swing and I need to put 100% into that to make it the success I want it to be.  Also, all the time spent on going through Y emails, submitting payroll, updating the schedule, and so on will free up so much time for me.  I will still be teaching my classes at the Y (no worries!), but I’m excited to spend more time enhancing this blog, seeing friends and family that I don’t get to see enough, spending time with Tim, personal training here and there, and trying new fitness classes around the city.

The Studio Empower

CrossFit workout

Also in the fall I will be auditing the wellness coaching class that I took last year but never completed.  After getting my personal training certification last March, I registered for the Wellcoaches 18 week health and wellness coach training program.  I completed all the classes I need for the program, but I never followed through on certifying.  This was partly because of my full-time career switch – since I would be working in wellness, getting this certification so quickly was no longer a priority for me.   But it was also because I didn’t have enough time to dedicate toward studying and preparing for the tests.  That being said, I am paying a small audit fee to do the classes over again starting in September, and then I hope to certify sometime before summer 2015.  I am excited to add “wellness coach” to my list of certifications.

To celebrate 28, Tim and I are heading to the beach today and will be going out for dinner and drinks later tonight.  I celebrated with friends last night and had a great time.  I feel lucky to have so many good friends in my life.  And I’ll be doing a family dinner next week once my brother is back in town.

All that being said, I’m excited for these changes to come.  And I’m excited to see what 28 has in store for me.

Ali's Pictures - Jumping