Summer: It’s Not Actually Over

I refuse to believe that Labor Day means the end of summer…especially when Boston just recently went through a heat wave. Fall is cute and all, but to me it just means the impending doom of winter. So I’ve continued to soak up every last bit of summer I can, which includes plenty of fun events, new restaurants, and sweaty fitness adventures. I’ve got a lot to talk about so let’s get down to it.

Sister-Sister Spin

My younger sister came to visit from NC over Labor Day weekend, and we had a blast watching the Tennessee football opener at alumni bar (North Star), brunching, taking a duck boat tour, and going out dancing. But all that involved a lot of drinks and food, so we also scheduled a couple of sweat sessions during her trip. Firstly, a 60-minute Back to the 2000’s ride on Saturday, at Velo-City in Back Bay.


My sister is newer to spin and after recently experiencing Velo-City’s non-intimidating environment, I figured it’d be a perfect fit for her. I turned out to be right, and also had an even better experience than my last! Our instructor Deepak was a total gem. He kept the hour-long class interesting, handed out glow-sticks, and brought the thunder with a great playlist. I would highly recommend looking for him on the schedule if you head to Velo-City to try their new student deal. When we left we had brunch plans so didn’t stick around, but he was in the process of busting out some rosé for riders!

Has anyone tried this one? Did I miss out?

Has anyone tried this one? Did I miss out?

On Labor Day itself we hit up FlyWheel, because I won a free class at a Tribe Hummus event and Hannah had yet to use the free class that all first-timers get. That 45-minute ride, taking place at the end of the long weekend of eating and drinking, was MUCH more of a struggle than Saturday’s class…despite it being fifteen minutes shorter. But we got through and rewarded ourselves with cute tank tops afterward.

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Absolut Elyx at Boston Chops

I’ve attended an Absolut Elyx Perfect Martini class hosted by someone else, but never had a chance to host my own – until recently! Dillon of Absolut Elyx reached out to ask me if I wanted to host my own event, and I immediately (after finding his email in my spam – close call!) responded with YES!

I opted to host the event at a restaurant I’d never tried before, Boston Chops, because it has come so highly recommended by several of my friends. The food we were served blew me away and I can’t wait to go back for a full meal! Standout items included popovers and mac ‘n cheese.


Who needs a cherry on top when you have bacon!

But of course the night was about Absolut Elyx, not the food. We started with Cucumber Coolers, which tasted like they had absolutely zero alcohol in them. And for that reason we all had several.


Boston Chops bartender Pam took us through a brief history of the martini, followed by a tasting of the Absolut Elyx by itself. It went down just as smoothly as I recall at the last event I attended. We then learned about different types of martinis: wet (half vermouth and half vodka – reminded me of an after-dinner drink), dirty, shaken, stirred, naked (just vodka – for those looking to get after it).


We all had a great time making and tasting the various types of martinis and garnishes. My coworker Cristen went with the naked martini (she likes to get after it), while I loaded up on bleu-cheese stuffed olives. I did more tasting of other martinis than making my own.


The event made me reconsider my stance as an always “gin martini person”. A vodka martini made with Absolut Elyx really hits the spot!

B/Spoke Studios

My friend Matt gave out swag bags at his 30th birthday (as he naturally would), and one item in said bag was a voucher for a free class at B/Spoke, a spin studio in downtown Boston. That was back in June, and I finally got around to using my class a couple of weeks ago! Like many studios I’ve tried, the classes at B/Spoke take place in a dark room. I liked that there were no numbers involved (a-la Flywheel), but could have done with less of tap-backs and push-ups. Often in classes when an instructor advises to do that, I just do my own thing because I can’t pedal very fast when I’m trying to focus on doing something else. Guess I’m not a multi-tasker! Still the playlist and instructor’s energy were both extremely motivating, and the studio itself is beautiful. I laughed when I saw Jameson and rosé in the studio fridge too!

Bees Knees Supply

I both live and work down the street from the newest Allston location of Bees Knees Supply, so checking out their preview evening was a no-brainer. Attendees sampled wine and beer (the store sells both), tried out various party platters of cheese, antipasti, veggies, and hummus, and snacked on passed apps. My friend and I were partial to both varieties of bubbles being poured, of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.


As usual I made a dinner mostly out of cheese. By the time I got to the antipasti board it had been mostly picked clean, but later a fantastic cilantro guac was brought out, and I was glad I had some extra room to go back for seconds of that.


I’ve heard mixed reviews of this Bees Knees location (the Yelp page doesn’t feature many positive opinions) but aside from a not-so-friendly wine pourer I had a really good time! The food was tasty and who doesn’t enjoy grocery shopping with a DJ? Yes, a DJ.


Just some tunes and some milk and eggs.

My favorite part of Bees Knees is definitely the patio, which is tucked away in back and provides a nice quiet escape from Comm Ave. We spent most of the event out there, making trips back and forth for more bubbles and food. If only it was legal to buy a bottle and take it out back to the patio!

Cheeses of Europe

Finally, last Thursday my friend Molly and I made a trip to Faneuil Hall for a media preview of a Cheeses of Europe pop-up shop held there last Friday. We were treated to an insane amount of cheese, along with cheese-infused apps, and rosé. (Are you sensing a pattern here? I should just call this post Rosé Roundup.)


My favorite cheese of the evening was the cave-aged Mimolette, even after I found out that its natural rind looks the way it does because it was eaten by cheese mites. Charming!


Whatever, this hard cheese made from pasteurized cow’s milk blew me away and I was fortunate enough to go home with some of it, along with three other fantastic soft cheeses…and a picture with a cow!


Molly and I had a fantastic time and she shared the cheese she took home with her parents the following weekend. I used mine to make a cheese plate that ended up lasting me a few meals!


Cheesin at a cheese event.

Hey, look! More rose!

Hey, look! More rosé!

So, those are just a few of the many things I’ve been up to as we say goodbye to summer. I can already feel the temperatures cooling, but we’re in for a few 80 degree days this week which makes me excited.

Are you ready for fall, or do you wish summer would stick around a bit longer?

Which of these events/activities would you enjoy the most?

Marvelous Summer Send-Off

I had such a marvelous weekend here in Boston, and the last one in August at that. It seems like an appropriate time to share a Marvelous In My Monday post – my first in quite awhile! (Has it really been since February?!)

Thank you to Katie for hosting this link-up, as it always puts a positive spin on Monday!

Friday night started with a marvelous dinner at one of my favorite downtown spots, Townsman. My friends Jeannie, Allie, and I often like to start our weekend at a restaurant that’s new to at least one of us, and it was Allie’s first visit. I arrived early and snagged us some patio seats.

I started with one of my favorite whiskey cocktails, a Red Hook.

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Venturing Out To Tempo Kitchen

The food and drinks in this post were provided by Tempo Kitchen. All opinions of the experience are my own. 

A couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to visit a restaurant that I probably would never have made it out to had I not been invited in – because I had to venture out to “the burbs” to get there. Not a typical move for me, since there are so many restaurants right in my backyard, easily accessible by foot or the T. But I wasn’t going to turn down a night out at Waltham’s recently renovated Tempo, especially when it involved spending time with friends!


View from our table.


Kelly, Dave, Matt, and I!

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Boston Moves & Food

During this summer in Boston I have continued to eat great food, while also trying out some new fitness options (and keeping with old favorites). I’m back with another round-up post to catch you guys up, and this one focuses on both moves, and the food that makes all that moving worth it.

Vélo-city Spin in Back Bay

I went to Vélo-city once before, and was excited when one of the owners recently reached out and invited me and my partner in crime Emily to try out a class! We opted for this past Tuesday’s 5:30pm Britney vs Beyonce ride. FYI, Vélo-city offers a TON of fun theme rides, including country, which Emily and I plan to return for.


The door to the studio is in an alley and looks like a portal to another world, like something out of Harry Potter.

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203 Wedding Weekend!

Last weekend I ventured back to the 203 area code of Connecticut for two important events – a visit to Kaitlin in Fairfield on Saturday, and the New Haven wedding of one of my friends from college, on Sunday!

I arrived in Fairfield at about 3PM on Saturday, and we immediately hit the road. Some friends of Kaitlin and her husband were having a BBQ, so I tagged along with them for a fun afternoon of beverages, burgers, and hot dogs.

I contributed a bottle of Earthshaker Wines Rose de Pinot Noir. Kaitlin and I had no trouble crushing it and I wished I’d brought another!

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Doubling Up on Barcelona

This month I’ve had the chance to visit both Barcelona Wine Bar locations in Boston! First I went to Brookline to attend a Tour of Galicia dinner (and take over the Barcelona Brookline Facebook to share my experience).


My favorite bread of all time!

As usual there was no shortage of wine at this event…each course was paired with two different varietals!

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Free Week at CorePower Yoga!

I alluded in a previous post that I had a CorePower Yoga related announcement coming up. As many of you know, I’m obsessed with the CorePower Sculpt workout, and recently explained why in a dedicated post. Well, I’m excited to announce that I am going to be a Brand Ambassador for the Allston, MA studio!

What this means is I’ll be spreading the word about CorePower and the fact that they offer a 100% free week of yoga to new students. Full disclosure: I am getting some free yoga for doing this. But more full disclosure: I have NOT been getting any free yoga while I’ve been tweeting and posting up a storm about this workout for the last few months. Nope, this is 100% genuine and sweaty love.

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GNO at Foxwoods!

Part of my dinner as well as the tickets to the show mentioned in this post were provided free of charge by Foxwoods Casino. 

A couple of weeks ago, Emily mentioned to me that she had been asked by Foxwoods Restort Casino to come visit for the “ultimate girls night”, which obviously included male revue show Thunder Down Under. It had certainly been awhile since my last casino trip, and a night out with one of my favorite people sounded great, so I immediately said yes!

Matching MANhattans before going to watch a bunch of shirtless men. Source.

We got a room at a nearby hotel, Hilltop Inn & Suites, that was relatively affordable and offered a free shuttle to/from the casino. That way we could enjoy ourselves to the fullest and not have to worry about driving back to Boston at midnight. Despite some Friday traffic, we made it to the hotel just in time to freshen up, grab the 6:30 shuttle, and make it to our dinner reservation.

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New Boston Fitness Finds

This summer I have been taking advantage of various opportunities to try out new-to-me workouts and fitness studios in Boston! Ever since I tried and fell in love with CorePower Yoga Sculpt, I have been feeling more open to spending more time outside of my gym, whether that means trying a completely new workout or doing a workout I already enjoy, but in a different setting.

I purchased a Gilt City deal for five Back Bay Yoga (BBY) classes (just $39!) because my good friend Emily is a HUGE BBY fan. So far I have attended three classes with her and am so glad that I purchased this voucher. I have a long-running history of not counting yoga, even vinyasa, as a “real workout” in my mind. I love CorePower, but it IS a heated bootcamp-style yoga, so it’s pretty easy for me to call it a workout. In the past I have done yoga on a “rest day”, or paired it WITH a cardio workout, because I did not feel it was adequate.

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Zooma Zoomin: My Second Half Marathon

I am receiving a complimentary race entry from Zooma in exchange for sharing my training/race experience on my blog and social media.

Those who have been reading my blog for a year or more may remember that last summer, I trained for my first half marathon! For those who do not remember or were not aware, here are some of those posts to catch you up:

Though I am a self proclaimed non-runner, I still got such a high off of training for that big goal, and conquering it. I will never forget the overwhelming emotion and pride I felt as I crossed the finish line, with tears in my eyes, at the Zooma Women’s Half Marathon on the Cape last September.

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