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.

Merchant

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!

Somewhat Random Weekly Eats

FRIDAY AT LAST!!  WOOHOO.  I don’t even care that it’s Friday the 13th because you know what is thrilling right now?  Having absolutely ZERO plans this weekend.  I couldn’t be happier for so… much… TIME.  To do thrilling things like clean out my closet.  No, seriously.

Anyway, since it’s Friday I suppose I should post last week’s eats before they merge into this week’s.  I feel like last week’s food was kinda random and all over the place.

Ready?

Sunday
Lunch was quinoa because I was in post birthday recovery mode.  It hit the spot after this workout.  Dinner was homemade Hawaiian BBQ pizza.  I love me some homemade pizza nights!  It was the perfect dinner to eat while we finished Season 1 of New Girl.  Love. That. Show.

Quinoa

Hawaiian BBQ Pizza

Monday
Monday was Labor Day, and we had the day off from work.  The weather was pretty crappy, but we didn’t want to just sit around so we headed to Newburyport for a couple of hours.  We had lunch at a place called Loretta, walked around some shops, and then got fro yo before heading home.

My lunch consisted of roasted red pepper soup (it was chilly outside) and a pear salad.  Totally hit the spot.

Pear Salad

The fro yo stole the show though!  I got pumpkin flavored with graham cracker crumbs, slivered almonds, and dark chocolate chips.  Perfect treat for the unofficial end of summer and beginning of fall, don’t ya think?

Frozen Yogurt

Monday night for dinner was… umm… I have no clue.  Pretty sure we just had eggs or something like that.  I can’t remember!

Tuesday
For lunch… fruit and barley salad on greens.

Barley fruit salad

Tuesday night was a red meat kind of night.  We stocked up on steaks from Whole Foods the week before because they were on sale.  Tim made a delicious dry rub, and we finished up the leftover side dishes (asparagus and mushrooms) from my birthday dinner at Towne.

Dry Rub Steak

Wednesday
Same lunch as Tuesday… and dinner ended up being consumed at Panera.  Just a salad, no picture.  Sometimes life gets in the way of your original meal plan.

Thursday
Lunch was another quinoa — red quinoa with tomatoes, black beans, scallions, and lima beans.  Meh.  Wasn’t that thrilling, and totally NOT worth the hassle of soaking the beans!  NEVER AGAIN.

Red Quinoa with Lima Beans

Dinner was at Cambridge Brewing Company with my family!  I loved my meal.  I ordered the roasted salmon with ratatouille and pesto.  Topped with crispy potatoes.

Cambridge Brewing Company Salmon

Friday
Another day of no pictures.  Lunch was the same as Thursday, and dinner was at a random deli on the way to Ashley and Bret’s pre-wedding beach bonfire.  I got your regular old salad with grilled chicken.

Saturday
Sandwiches on the beach for lunch, wedding meal for dinner!  And CAKE – I wish I snapped a pic of my piece of cake because it was the size of my head and I happily gobbled up every single bit.

Ashley and Bret's Wedding Dinner

That’s all I have for today!  I can’t wait to start making more exciting breakfasts once the seasons really change.  I never feel like having a big breakfast in the summer, and I usually want to grab a yogurt and get on with my day when it’s sunny and nice out.  But once it’s chilly… game changer!

What’s up for the weekend, you guys?  Going out or staying in?

Father’s Day and Weekly Workouts

Good morning!  Hope all of you had a lovely weekend, and for any dads out there I hope you had a fabulous Father’s Day.  I went to Newburyport for the afternoon with my parents and siblings to celebrate Chuck.  We did lunch at Michael’s Harborside Restaurant and then walked around a little bit.

Father's Day

Father's Day

Father's Day

I know for Mother’s Day the past two years my mom has written a guest post, but my dad’s version of inspiring fitness is a little different.  It includes calling me after he umpires our hometown baseball games to tell me how many squats he did over the course of two games (1400).  Calculated of course by averaging the number of times he had to squat in one inning and multiplying by 18.  Where do you all think I learned to love doing squats for endurance?

Anyways, hope you had a great day yesterday, dad!  Thanks for all you do for us.

Time to get in to weekly workouts…

Weekly Workouts

Last Week’s Workouts

Here’s another fab workout week under my belt:

Sunday
2 mile run + abs with Tim

Monday
I went to the gym with no plan as to what I was going to do for a workout, but I left feeling amazing and accomplished.  OH, and super sweaty.  Funny how that happens sometimes.  I ended up doing the following circuit three times through, but I added 10 minutes of steady cardio before each round:

15x10 Circuit

So the workout ended up looking like this:  10 minutes steady cardio (elliptical) > circuit > 10 minutes steady cardio (arc trainer) > circuit > 10 minutes steady cardio (bike) > circuit > stretch.  For the win.

Incline Pushups

Tuesday
On Tuesday I taught outdoor bootcamp in the rain, followed by my interval training class.  In my second class we focused on muscle endurance.  I chose six different strength moves and we did 5 reps of each move, then continued with the same exercise through 6 reps, 7 reps, 8, 9, and up to 10.  You end up doing over 50 reps of each exercise!  I threw random cardio blasts in between each strength set.

Side note:  What has happened to our Tuesday night party crowd!?  It’s making me sad.

Wednesday
Active rest!  30 minute walk for Walking Wednesday at work with Sheila and Dawn.

Walking at work

Thank you random man on the side of the road for taking our picture.

Thursday
Taught my 6am class, which was a bit smaller than usual due to the late Bruins game the night before.  That’s okay though – those of us who were there worked through some serious upper body intervals — 10 reps of strength followed by 20 seconds of either mountain climbers or bench popovers 4x through each set.

I was also up a little later than usual on Wednesday night, so I opted for a neon outfit that morning to get me through class.  I love my Reebok Love Fitness shirt.

Reebok Love Fitness Shirt

Friday
I kept things simple with 30 minutes on the elliptical followed by a standing abs workout.

Ellipticals

Saturday
I busted out a workout DVD, something I rarely do!  I did Mindy Mylrea’s Booty Camp — the gliding disc and bender ball version, followed by the Tabata version to really finish things off.  Tim came in from his run as I was huffing and puffing through these torture moves:

Mindy Mylrea DVD

I also walked at least a few miles on Saturday as we strolled through Boston.  It was such a beautiful day, but my legs were sore and tired by the time we went to bed.

This Week’s Workouts

Here’s what’s on tap for this week’s exercise:

  • Sunday:  Rest day
  • Monday:  Cardio + abs
  • Tuesday:  Teaching 6:15pm bootcamp, teaching 7:30pm Interval
  • Wednesday:  Active rest
  • Thursday:  Teaching 6am circuit
  • Friday:  Morning workout TBD
  • Saturday:  Morning workout TBD

Are you someone who likes to plan your workouts before heading to the gym, or would you rather make it up as you go?

I definitely like to plan my workouts in terms of plotting them into my weekly schedule, but sometimes it’s nice to go without knowing what exact exercises you are going to do when you get there.  Since this method clearly worked for me last Monday, I’m keeping some of my workouts a little more vague this week!  We’ll see what happens.

Have a good one, friends!