Life Lately {September and October 2014}

It’s been a while since I’ve done a life update post, huh? It’s been since August, to be exact.

Life Lately

I don’t know about you, but I welcomed fall with wide open arms this year. Like I mentioned in my new newsletter that went out last week, I was happy to embrace the new season because it meant things were slowing down a bit from all the craziness that the summer brought. The first week of September was spent off from work. We spent the first half of the week celebrating my birthday, checking out potential wedding venues, and enjoying some time at home. We spent the second half of the week up north in one of our favorite places, Maine!

Maine Vacation: Cape Porpoise

When we got home from our vacation, we immediately were back into wedding mode, as we needed to make a decision within a week about our wedding venue. We were really torn between Atlantica in Cohasset for an ocean front wedding and Zorvino’s in NH for a rustic winery wedding. The second weekend in September we actually did a second visit back up to Zorvino’s just to make sure we had all our questions answered, and the return visit really clinched it for us. So that’s that! Our wedding date is set for Sunday, September 20th of next year at Zorvino’s!

Zorvino's

We are really excited about our venue, but I am just so relieved that the venue researching part of the process is over. Don’t get me wrong, I am really enjoying other parts of the planning, but the venue hunt simply wasn’t one of them. I feel guilty saying that because everyone and their mom and second cousin once removed felt the need to remind me about how AMAZING all of that should have been, but you know what? Trying to coordinate viewing a bunch of places all over the state between the hours of 8 and 4 during the week and keep it all straight actually wasn’t that amazing to me. I’m way more excited now that we have our venue and church selected and can think about more exciting things like who is going to lead the Greek dancing circles, what color I want my bridesmaids to wear, and what our signature drinks should be. Right?!

Zorvino's

Other mentionable September happenings include apple picking,

Apple Picking 2014

attending the annual WWCMA conference for work,

WWCMA 2014 Conference

going to a sweetgreen passport class called Barre & Bites with Liz,

sweetgreen barre & bites

and much more of THIS than I’ve been able to do in a really long time:

Tea on the Couch

There were also a couple of nights out to dinner with friends. I saw Allison for dinner at Seasons 52 in Burlington one night, and I met up with Bridget, Slesh, and Trina at a restaurant called Forum downtown. However, I’d say one of the main highlights of September was one of my bestie’s weddings! Holy moly, talk about an amazing fun weekend in NYC celebrating Erica and Chris. One of the best weddings I’ve ever been to, and just for the record, Tim and I figured out we’ve been to 23 in 3 years. So I think we are pretty good wedding judgers!

Erica & Chris: NYC Wedding

October was here before we even knew it, and I kicked off the month by hosting my really fun event at Athleta. Another one is in the works, so make sure to sign up for my newsletter to get early bird signup privileges and sneak peek details!

Athleta Legacy Place: Birthday Bootcamp

Tim was away for a bachelor party the first weekend of the month, so I used the time to catch up with friends I hadn’t seen a long time. I did dinner with my friend Erin at Isabella Restaurant and was able to get together spontaneously with some of the gym girls at Solea for sangria and tapas too. After we did dinner that night, I hung with Ashley at her house for awhile just catching up and drinking cider.

The week Tim got back, I was supposed to go to the October New Balance Girls Night Out event, but since we were still sharing a car at this point, it was impossible to get downtown. I was bummed to miss it, but Tim did get a new Altima, and we didn’t go broke (or start hating each other) in the process.

Other beginning of October things included a date night to see The Lion King (my birthday present, with dinner at Harvard Gardens first),

The Lion King

Tim’s godson’s christening,

Wes's Baptism

a random Tuesday night sleepover/gym friend get together at Ashley’s house when Jen was back in the states,

Jen's Visit: Tuesday Night Sleepover

and wedding dress shopping! I went first to David’s Bridal in Danvers to get a better idea of what type of style I was going for. I had no clue going into it whether I wanted satin versus lace, strapless versus not, etc. so that really helped. I brought my mom, MOH (Slesh), and bridesmaid (and seamstress!) Shannon with me, and they were all awesome throughout the whole process.

Wedding Dress Shopping

I went dress shopping again the following week, this time with my mom and Shannon again, but my Uncle Chris came along too. This trip I found the gown! I can’t wait for you guys to see it, but I suppose you’ll have to wait a year, huh?

Wedding: Gown

October’s last few weeks were spent celebrating our five year anniversary (dinner at Harvest in Harvard Square + drinks at Beat Hotel — HIGHLY recommend both),

Five Year Anniversary

spontaneously going to Harvest Fest 2014 in Somerville (SO many fun beers and food samples!),

Somerville Harvest Fest 2014

running the Oak Square OAKtoberfest 5k and post race brunching,

OAKtoberfest 5k Race & Taste: Family

Cook Restaurant

getting my monthly deep tissue massage (I signed up for a wellness package),

Massage Envy

celebrating my friend Jen’s birthday with the gym girls,

Gym Friends at Jen's

Gym Friends Food

going to Tim’s cousin’s birthday party, my friend Johnny’s housewarming party, and Patrice and Brian’s beautiful wedding!

Patrice & Brian's Wedding

We rounded up the month by heading back up to Zorvino’s for our meet the vendors night, and finally, hosting Halloween! We were lame this year and didn’t require anyone to wear a costume. What we did require was everyone bring a seasonal craft beer so we could have a little tasting. It was fun!

Halloween 2014

Lots of good stuff going on outside of work lately!

–Let’s chat–
Tell me about the highlights of September and October? What stood out to you the most? I want to know what you’ve been up to! What are you looking forward to in November?

I am looking forward to a free Saturday and Sunday next weekend after we attend wedding #7 of 8 this year on Friday night! I am also excited for Thanksgiving. Slesh is hosting Friendsgiving again this year, AND Tim and I figured out how to spend the holiday with both of our families.

Have a great day, you guys!

Slesh’s NYC Bachelorette Party

Um, I can’t believe I still haven’t recapped Slesh’s bachelorette party that was two months ago. I suppose I should now since her WEDDING is this weekend! Ahh!

Slesh’s bachelorette weekend was in NYC, so I took that Friday off to hit the gym and do some last-minute things in the morning. Bridget picked me up in the rental car (don’t ask), and we loaded it up to the max.

Slesh's Bachelorette Party: Leaving for NYC

Whenever Bridget, Erica, and I are involved in party planning, you can pretty much guarantee an excessive amount of snacks and party props. Check out the bachelorette survival bags I put together!

Slesh's NYC bachelorette: survival bags

The ride to New York was pretty awful. There was SO much traffic because it was a big graduation weekend, and it was raining. By the time we arrived, we were definitely ready for a drink!

Slesh's NYC Bachelorette

We got ready and enjoyed some adult bevvies in the room (we stayed at The Andaz Wall Street where Erica’s wedding is in September) before heading out to our first stop of the night, Beauty & Essex.

Slesh's NYC Bachelorette: Beauty and Essex

Beauty & Essex was probably the coolest restaurant I’ve ever been to in my life. It looks like nothing from the outside, and it looks like a pawn shop when you first walk in (where we are standing in the picture above). But once you walk through the next door, boom. Fancy shmancy, loud music, fun vibe. The best part about Beauty & Essex though? Free champagne in the bathroom.

Slesh's NYC Bachlorette: Beauty & Essex

As you can imagine, we had to pee a LOT throughout our meal. 😉

Slesh's NYC Bachelorette: Beauty and Essex

When we weren’t in the bathroom, we were enjoying the small plates we ordered to share among the table. I love doing this so everyone can try many different items on the menu. My favorite were these lobster tacos!

Slesh's NYC Bachelorette: Beauty and Essex 2

My least favorite? The lemon drop shots.

Slesh's NYC Bachelorette: Beauty and Essex 3

After dinner, we headed to our next stop, The Delancey. We had a table reservation for 12:30am after dinner, and we also got table service.

Slesh's NYC Bachelorette: The Delancey

I’m pretty sure that our group literally jumped around and danced all over the place right next to this table for the rest of our night out.

Slesh's NYC Bachelorette: The Delancey

Slesh's NYC Bachelorette: The Delancey

Slesh's NYC Bachelorette: The Delancey

Slesh's NYC Bachelorette: The Delancey

Slesh's NYC Bachelorette: The Delancey

Slesh's NYC Bachelorette: The Delancey

We took some HILARIOUS pictures afterwards in the hotel room with our “party prop,” but Slesh probably won’t appreciate me sharing those in the blogosphere, so I’ll just leave it to this.

Slesh's NYC Bachelorette

On Saturday, we somehow managed to wake up bright and early for our next bachelorette activity: wine tour! Our limo picked us up at 9am, and we headed out for the drive to three different vineyards on Long Island: Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard, Puglise Vineyards, and Vineyard 48.

Slesh's NYC Bachelorette: Wine Tour

We thought these three vineyards made the perfect lineup for the bride to be because the first had animals, the second had pretty scenery and lunch, and the third had a DJ with dancing potential if we wanted it! We kicked off our limo ride with some classy mimosas, enjoyed straight out of the cute cups Ashley put together for everyone. Bachelorette straws were a must!

Slesh's NYC Bachelorette: Wine Tour

Slesh's NYC Bachelorette Straws

Since we had two hours to kill before arriving at the first vineyard, we played a fun game. Everyone brought Slesh some type of underwear, lingerie, or pajamas, and she had to guess who gave her each item. This was pretty funny, especially when we got to the granny panties!

Slesh's NYC Bachelorette: Wine Tour Limo Ride

Note the shirts that Bridget had made for us to wear. They said “Keep Calm and Marry Will.” They were a hit throughout the day!

Slesh's NYC Bachelorette: Wine Tour

Here are some more pictures from winery #1:

Slesh's NYC Bachelorette Party: Wine TourSlesh's NYC Bachelorette Party: Wine TourSlesh's NYC Bachelorette: Wine Tour

Slesh's NYC Bachelorette: Wine Tour

Winery #2:

Slesh's NYC Bachelorette: Wine Tour Slesh's NYC Bachelorette Party: Wine Tour

And winery #3, where we ran into another bachelorette party from the same hometown as Slesh! What are the odds?

Slesh's NYC Bachelorette: Wine TourSlesh's NYC Bachelorette: Wine Tour

Slesh's NYC Bachelorette Party: Wine Tour

If you are planning a bachelorette party, I would highly recommend something like a limo wine tour for an outdoor spring activity. We had perfect weather, and it was a great time! Our ride home definitely wasn’t as eventful or full of as many activities as the ride there was though. We were tired!

Slesh's NYC Bachelorette: Wine Tour

After we got back from the wine tour, the festivities continued. We only had about an hour of downtime before dinner, so we took a quick power nap and got ready for the second night. Our dinner reservation at La Palapa, a Mexican restaurant. Lots of tacos and margaritas were consumed!

Slesh's NYC Bachelorette: La Palapa

After dinner, we spent the rest of the night bar hopping between three different places.

Slesh's NYC Bachelorette: BarsSlesh's NYC Bachelorette: BarsSlesh's NYC Bachelorette

Each bar was much lower key than Friday night was, but that didn’t mean our night was any less fun or crazy! All in all, I would say Slesh’s bachelorette weekend went off without a hitch, and our almost bride to be had a great weekend… clearly! 😉

Slesh's NYC Bachelorette

The ride back to Boston on Sunday was probably one of the longest and worst car rides of my life (so much traffic, we were all SO tired and cranky, headaches all around, etc.), but it was totally worth it for my friend’s celebration. I also think it took me until the following weekend to recover from how little sleep I got! I guess that’s a late twenties kind of thing. There’s no quick recovery anymore.

I am so excited to celebrate Slesh and Will at their big day this weekend!

–Let’s chat–
I want to hear more about the bachelorette parties you’ve been to. Anyone done any similar types of wine tours, etc.?
Who else takes a week to recover from a fun weekend now? What would you put in a bachelorette survival kit?

After Slesh’s wedding weekend, it’s time for Erica’s bachelorette! So many ACTIVITIES to be excited for. 🙂

NYC Recovery + Weekly Workouts

This was an especially tiring Monday.  I had a blast with Slesh and Erica in NYC this weekend, but my body is DEFINITELY feeling the after effects of all the snacking, drinking, bagel eating, and dining out today.  I’ve seriously been chugging water by the gallon, but I still don’t feel hydrated.  And I definitely am pumped for a hardcore calorie burning session tonight.  I feel like I’ve had multiple posts in the past month stating how much I’ve been “cheating” on nutrition by treating myself and splurging a little lot, so it’s time to reign it in.  I mean, I now have two Monday posts about recovering from said gluttony, so it’s time to be realistic with myself (ie Athena, you certainly have not been following an 80/20 rule,) and get back on track.  For reals.

gluttony

That being said, this week:

  • I see lots of salads in my future
  • I am working out Monday through Friday
  • Water, water, water
  • Sleep, sleep, sleep
  • Breathe, breathe, breathe

Sounds like a good plan, no?  Here are my workout specifics!

Weekly Workouts

Last Week’s Workouts

  • Sunday:  30 minute Hurricane Sandy workout
  • Monday:  20 minutes on stairmaster + taught a 30 minute Upper Body Express class + taught Dynamax Bootcamp
  • Tuesday:  Took Liz’s Kickboxing class + taught Best Body Bootcamp Workout B (Pull Bootcamp Circuits) in my Circuit Training class
  • Wednesday:  Off
  • Thursday:  Taught Best Body Bootcamp Workout C(Full Body Supersets with Partial Reps) in my Circuit Training class
  • Friday:  Was going to do an at home workout, but my shoulders were SO TIRED from the week’s previous workouts that I took an off day.
  • Saturday:  Walking around NYC?  Probably doesn’t count much.

This Week’s Workouts

  • Sunday:  Off
  • Monday:  Cardio Cutz with Ashley if I can make it on time, otherwise BBB cardio workout TBD
  • Tuesday:  Liz’s Kickboxing, then teaching my Circuit (now called Interval Training) for Two A Day
  • Wednesday:  Pilates class or off
  • Thursday:  Teaching my Circuit (now called Body Sculpt)
  • Friday:  Teaching Cardio & Core (now called 20/20/20)
  • Saturday:  Pilates class or off

Two other things I want to announce in this post:

1.  My blog scheduler was acting funky this weekend, so I’m not sure you guys caught my December Reader Recipe of the month — my friend Shannon posted a fun soup recipe.  Check it out here!

2.  The Holiday Zumbathon we are having at the Y this Sunday!!  Members and non-members can attend, and you just need to email me at akaralekas@gmail.com to reserve a spot.  I would love to see some familiar faces there, even if you don’t Zumba regularly, to support the Y (all proceeds go toward my department) and have fun!

Zumbathon

That’s all for today!  I’m off to the gym to sweat out my NYC weekend, go grocery shopping and organize my life, then Tim & I are decorating our Christmas tree!

When’s the last time you found yourself in a slump with food?  What’s your workout plan for the week?  Anyone have anything fun they want to share just because?

Later, gaters.