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.

Snapchat

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!

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.

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

Breakfasts

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.

Lunches

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

Dinners

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!