Life Lately {April 2014}

Morning! Time to chat about what’s been going on in my life lately. As you guys know, April was busy busy!

Life Lately

At the beginning of April, I flew out to Minnesota for work. I did several different staff trainings throughout the week, but the highlight of my visit was obviously the day I got to focus on our wellness program.

Minnesota Wellness Program

Other highlights included some pretty good hotel workouts, a delicious margarita, and my first outdoor patio meal of the season.

Minnesota

April weekend highlights include:

My Chicago adventures, which you can read all about here if you missed my recap post.

Chicago: The Bean

Tim’s birthday weekend, which included dinner at The Blue Dragon, a two-hour brewing session at Hopsters, and dinner with his family at The Local in Newton.

Tim's Birthday: Blue Dragon

Greek Easter, and as always, there was lots of food and our annual Easter egg cracking tournament.

Greek Easter 2014

Marathon Monday, which was spent with our friends Bret and Ashley in Cleveland Circle.

Marathon Monday

And finally, Slesh’s bridal shower in Connecticut.

Slesh's Bridal Shower

Some other things from my month:

Pretty flowers

Flowers

Worksite wellness meets office antics

Wellness Works: Work antics

Homemade pretzel night

Homemade Pretzel Night

A fun fitness focus group at Reebok Headquarters with fellow Fitfluential ambassadors

Fitness Focus Group at Reebok

NatureBox snacks to my doorstep. I really enjoyed the three-month subscription that Tim’s sister gave me for Christmas, so I was pumped when POPSUGAR offered to send me another box through my relationship with them. I know there are a lot of subscription boxes out there, but this one is my favorite out of the three different ones I’ve tried so far. If you guys are interested, the POPSUGAR Must Have Snacks by NatureBox will be 50% off for a limited time here. I highly recommend trying it!

PopSugar Must Have Snacks by Nature Box

That’s it for April! I know we’re well into May already, but here’s what I have going on this month (a couple of which have already happened):

  • Blog friends dinner with Steph and Caroline
  • Katrina’s shower and bachelorette weekend
  • Bottling session at Hopsters for the beer brewed in April
  • Maybe finally seeing my friends from home? My childhood friend Matt just proposed to his girlfriend Katie last weekend!
  • Work 5k obstacle race
  • Mother’s Day
  • Slesh’s bachelorette weekend in New York
  • Dinner date with my friend Erin
  • Two free weekends, woohoo! I’m remaining non-committal for now, but I can’t decide if I want to try to escape to the Cape to kick off summer or stay at home and just relax with no plans. We’ll see!

–Let’s chat–
What are some of your highlights from April? What fun things are you looking forward to in May?

Disclaimer: POPSUGAR and NatureBox provided me with a complimentary POPSUGAR Must Have Snacks by NatureBox box. The opinions I have shared about the box are my own, and POPSUGAR and NatureBox did not tell me what to say or how to say it.

Showing My Love For Boston {Giveaway}

I love this day in Boston.

For years I’ve taken Marathon Monday off from work to be a part of the hustle and bustle and contagious energy that is the Boston Marathon. I am just obsessed with everything about the day: the runners, the volunteers, the spectators, the inspiration, the happiness. I’m sure my fellow Bostonians would agree that our marathon isn’t just ANY marathon. People from all over the world strive to run Boston. And hometown pride doesn’t really get better than Marathon Monday. The day is a celebration and a tradition like no other.

Marathon Monday 2013

Last year, two cowardly brothers tried to destroy all of this with a terrorist attack at the finish line. Innocent lives were lost, and Boston was a sad and scary place for quite some time. Last Tuesday marked the one year anniversary of the bombings, and to say I walked around that day with a heavy heart is an understatement. The news certainly had no shortage of reminders of last year’s attacks, and the sad memories just came rushing back. My heart broke for my city last year, and I certainly struggled this week as I thought about the victims’ family and friends, those who were injured and have spent the past year recovering, runners who never got to finish their race, and all the people who witnessed such tragedy. Boston also recently lost two firefighters in another tragedy a couple of weeks ago. It’s just a lot of sadness at once.

But then I read this article on the resilience of optimism, and it helped. It helped remind me that love and kindness overcomes. That our city, and people from all over the world, pulled together to get through something so terrible. That we are strong, resilient, and hopeful. That people are GOOD. And all that outweighs all the bad that happened last year. It has to.

I still love this day in Boston. In fact, something tells me that after today, I am going to love it even more. Today is our chance to take back our beloved tradition, unite yet again as a community of strength, and move forward. We may still be healing, but today we will show that we really are Boston Strong.

Runners

Tim and I will be enjoying brunch with our friends Bret and Ashley as we cheer on all the runners in the Cleveland Circle area.

I’m excited for our awesome brunch menu to kick off the day.

I’m excited to sport my new Boston shirt from a local apparel company called Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston.

For those unfamiliar with the Boston Marathon route, Hereford and Boylston are the last two turns of the race. The company was established when a Massachusetts native named John Stoller started creating and selling t-shirts as a charitable fundraiser to qualify to run Boston in 2008. Since then, Stoller runs with different charity teams each year, and he donates a portion of the proceeds of each purchase toward his various fundraising goals. After the terrorist attacks last year, Stoller teamed up with Marathon Sports to create a Boston Strong t-shirt, and they raised over $140,000 to donate directly to The One Fund. <—an example of the good, no?

I’m excited to see the elite runners in the morning.

I’m excited to see some of the staff members from my company run by. I wrote about several of them in a spotlight article for the wellness program at work last week, and they are all just so inspiring.

I’m excited to cheer, scream, and probably cry a little bit too.

I’m excited that today my city will run again.

Giveaway

In honor of today, Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston has kindly offered to give away a Boston t-shirt to five different F&F readers. You can check out their variety of styles for both men and women here. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post telling me why you love the city of Boston. You can earn one extra entry by sharing this giveaway on any of your social media channels and then telling me you did so in a second comment. You do not have to reside in Boston to participate. Giveaway will remain open until Friday 4/25 at 11:59 EST, and I will announce the winners next week. Good luck!

P.S. If you’re looking for some extra Boston love today, check out these beautiful posts from some fellow bloggers last week:

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post, but I was provided a free apparel from Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston in exchange for hosting this giveaway and writing about them. As always, all opinions are my own. There are no affiliate links within this post.

Life Is Busy + Easter Recipes

Hello!

I’ve missed my regular posting schedule over the past couple of weeks, but life is simply too busy right now with everything I have going on. I keep reminding myself that it’s all fun stuff and that this little old blog of mine will be right here and waiting for me once things calm down a bit. Thanks for understanding!

Here’s what’s on tap for the next week or so:

–Tim’s birthday is today!! The old man is 29. We’ll be heading out for a nice dinner and drinks tonight. I was away in Minnesota and Chicago last week, and he was away in Missouri and Minnesota this week, so I am really looking forward to having a quality night together tonight and catching up. This morning before his flight home, I sent him a little homemade e-card that I put together with PicMonkey. I listed three restaurant descriptions and asked him to choose one for tonight. Can’t wait to see where we end up! Tomorrow we’ll be doing more birthday related activities and seeing his parents and sister at night.

Me & Tim Black & White

–Sunday is Easter. Orthodox Easter falls on the same day as Catholic Easter this year, which means no Easter candy sales for my dad and his favorite joke. We’ll be heading down to see my dad’s side of the family in New Bedford, and per usual, we’ll be having our Easter egg cracking tournament.

 

Easter Egg Bracketology 5

–Monday is Marathon Monday and a big day for Boston after last year’s tragedy. Tim and I will be meeting up with our friends Ashley and Brett for brunch, and we are planning to watch the marathon from the Cleveland Circle area. It’s going to be such an emotionally charged day, and I just cannot wait to be surrounded by all the very reasons that I love this day in the city.

Marathon Monday

–Tuesday morning I will be participating in a fitness focus group at Reebok headquarters through Fitfluential. It’s the first time I’ve been involved in something like this, and I’m excited. Reebok is right next door to one of my company’s locations, so it works out well. The shopping part is pretty awesome too.

reebok bags

–Then the rest of next week will be completely focused on getting ready for Slesh’s bridal shower! I can’t believe the weekend is finally here. This week I spent a couple of nights shopping for an outfit and for other things (can’t give away any surprises), and next week I’ll be putting together the logistics of everything. I can’t wait for my best friend’s special day!

Me & Slesh Birthday

Phew!

Please tell me I’m not the only one with an absolutely crazy spring?

For those of you who celebrate Easter, I’ll leave you guys with some recipe ideas for this weekend.

For dessert, try:

For appetizers, try:

For a side dish, try:

For brunch, try:

Just in case you’re scrambling for Sunday. 🙂

Enjoy!