Five Things Friday: Calm Before The Storm

Happy Friday! Some of you may have the day off, but I am working a full day as well as events both tonight and tomorrow night. Luckily these events – Paint Nite and Wine Riot – are events I’d totally attend on my own time for fun. So I’m pretty cool with it, and am excited to write up blog recaps too. One of the many responsibilities of my new job that I sure don’t mind. I’ve got a few things I can talk about today so I thought I’d discuss five of them for the sake of alliteration, and in honor of Five Things Friday.

Check out Clare’s link-up!

1. I finally ran into a meh Boston restaurant experience.

They can’t all be amazing right? I’ve had a great track record so far but on Tuesday I went to the soft opening of a new North End speakeasy called Parla, and was left unsatisfied. The drinks, to be fair, were awesome. My first one (pictured below) contained both Domain de Canton and Campari and it blew me away! I also had a prosecco cocktail with more Domain de Canton plus mint and lemon – it pretty much screamed Kaitlin. I’d return to Parla in a second for cocktails!

Served alongside a cucumber mint salad sample – compliments of the chef. Molly and I agreed the crouton made it.

But if I could go back to Tuesday night I’d suggest to my companions Molly and Jeannie that we get drinks at Parla and eat elsewhere in the North End. The food was good, but for how much I paid I didn’t think it was THAT good, and I was also unimpressed by the portions. I’ve had plenty of better food in Boston (and more of it) for wayyy less money. And I was still hungry when I got home!

The interior was both fun and beautiful (if you visit, check out the bathroom wallpaper!) and Parla is for sure a fun place to hang out and grab drinks. But given the hype surrounding the place – they went for a marketing strategy of being ultra-secretive, and it sure reeled me in! – I was let down. Then again, hype surrounding a restaurant just opening is certainly less reliable than hype surrounding a long-standing spot, such as Drink!

At least we had fun!

2. Workouts this week have been fairly good!

After a ridiculously meh Sunday workout that consisted of me leaving the gym after 25 minutes of arms (once I decided I just wasn’t feelin’ it), I felt more than ready for Danielle Dee’s Monday spin class at the BSC. It felt great, I worked hard, and the best part is she gave me props for that while I was cleaning my bike. She thanked me for coming and for “working SO hard”. Just the way she said it, with so much meaning, made me feel so proud of myself for rebounding from my crappy Sunday workout and kicking butt. I enjoyed a good sweat on the stairs on Tuesday morning, and Wednesday evening’s Total Body Conditioning class was ROUGH. But in the sense that the whole class felt super hard, so that’s way better than it feeling too easy.

We did these…but with weights in our hands.

I took spin last night and it was a shorter class (45 minutes) but was the perfect amount of workout for me for that day. It was a teacher I’d never had before but I really liked the variety of her class! This morning I just couldn’t bring myself to do cardio after last night’s spin so I did arms and abs. I feel guilty about it but am just trying to move on. Hopefully my upper body feels sore tomorrow.

3. I think I’ve finally figured out the right amount of food to meal prep for myself each weekend.

It’s Friday and I don’t feel like my fridge is devoid of everything! This is a big deal. Trial and error my friends, that’s the name of the game. I still have leftover Chicken Veggie Barley Bake even after eating more of it last night, so I threw it in the freezer this morning. Don’t worry, I put it in a container first. I also still have a bit of Tarragon Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Carrots (the recipe called for steamed but come on, roasted is SO much better) and have picked out a couple of recipes to make this coming weekend for next week.

4. I’m having a very un-Eastery Easter Weekend.

I’m not going home, I’m working, and the Easter Bunny doesn’t visit me anymore. It doesn’t feel like Easter Weekend! I am hearing a whole lot more in “these parts” about the Boston Marathon, which is this coming Monday. I’m excited to partake in the celebrating with some friends and experience my first Marathon Monday in my new home! And this is a pretty incredible first one to be experiencing. I also have a blogger event tomorrow at the Reebok FitHub; I’m trying out a new Cardio Kick class! I don’t usually go for afternoon workout events on the weekends but Sarah is going and I really want to see her :-)

The class will be taught by Eliza Shirazi! Source

5. Next week is a big week.

I just have lots of plans. Marathon Monday, Wednesday I’m meeting some old friends for dinner and then running a Twitter tasting, and Thursday I’m going out after work to celebrate two coworkers’ birthdays. I really felt like doing something last night, but I stayed in and am glad I did because looking ahead, this is the calm before the storm. Starting tonight I’ve got work, and I have work/plans each night except Tuesday (even on Easter…Molly and I are going to get together to watch the Bruins game!) up until next weekend (and I’m working another event then too!) So I really need to pace myself because I don’t want to get overwhelmed and regret not resting and taking down-time.

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Shameless plug…please join us!

Now as that guy from Mulan said, let’s get down to business. Have a great weekend everyone!

Have you ever been disappointed by an over-hyped restaurant?

Got any fun Easter weekend (or Marathon Monday!) plans?

Do you find you need to pace yourself when it comes to plans?

Chicken Veggie Barley Bake

A few weeks ago, Brittany sent me this recipe from Layers of Happiness (she and I love sending each other recipes – especially those involving baby cabbages). I knew immediately I wanted to use some leftover uncooked barley I had to make my own version! So this past Sunday during my weekly meal prep, I did just that. Monday night dinner was the moment of truth. How would it turn out? The verdict was…GREAT! So I’m here to share my take…

Chicken Veggie Barley Bake

(Adapted from Layers of Happiness Pesto Chicken & Vegetable Quinoa Bake)

Makes 4 servings

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Stellaaaaaa!

I received the food and drinks featured in this post free of charge. All opinions of my experience are my own. You’ll likely see me at Stella again, whether I’m buying or not!

Last Wednesday I had the chance to visit Stella, an Italian restaurant in Boston’s South End, with my coworker Jeannie. She works with them and needed to stop in to try/photograph new spring cocktails and food items – tough job! Luckily she recruited me to help, because after all the more people in your party, the more cocktails and food can be ordered and sampled. And we had some VERY tough cocktail choices to make!

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I love love loved the white and yellow color scheme!

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Pretty bars are the best.

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Thinking Out Loud: Recovery Update

Not only has it been a couple of week since I joined Amanda‘s Thinking Out Loud Thursday link-up, but it’s also been awhile since I addressed how I’m doing (since moving to Boston) with my ongoing ED recovery journey. (If you’re new to my blog, you can read about my past and progress on my About Me.) I thought I’d go for a combo and update everyone in a random-thoughts format. But the bottom line is: It’s going pretty well!

1. I’ve found a therapist…for now at least. The person I’m seeing (we’ve had about 4 bi-weekly sessions at this point) is not nearly as helpful (so far) as my therapist in CT, but at the same time I haven’t felt as much of a “need” to see a therapist since I’m just so busy and also quite happy here, so I guess I’d call her good enough. I honestly didn’t have the energy to keep looking for someone…this person is a five minute walk from my office, so I can just pop out and see her over a lunch break and then come back. I just haven’t been getting a ton out of the appointments, except the chance to talk at someone and get feedback. Yet perhaps at this point that’s all I really need. I’m still thinking on this one.

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From Left to Write Book Club: The Opposite of Maybe

I received a complimentary copy of “The Opposite of Maybe”. All opinions are my own. This is not a sponsored post.

I struggled with inspiration to write a post for this From Left to Write Book Club selection, Maddie Dawson‘s The Opposite of Maybe. This virtual book club is about blogging on any subject the books inspire in its members, not just blogging a review of the book. And it’s not that I didn’t enjoy it; in fact, I quite liked it. I’m just not sure what more to say.

I thought about writing about how frustrated I was with the main character Rosie’s inability to see what a childish, selfish person her “boyfriend”/baby daddy Jonathan was. But then I remembered that I’ve been in a relationship in which it took me a very long time to realize that a) we weren’t right for each other and b) that wouldn’t change. It’s really always easy to see from the outside perspective.

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Two Marvelous Homes

This past weekend was spent in both of my marvelous homes – Boston and Connecticut. Even before I made my move I knew I’d be coming home for Penelope‘s first birthday party, which was on Saturday (the same day as her actual birthday). So I spent Friday night in Boston and Saturday night in Glastonbury. I told friends in Beantown that I would be “going home” Saturday, but then I told friends in CT that I was going “back home” on Sunday. I haven’t stopped calling Connecticut home, but I’m already calling Boston home too. Who says I can’t have two?

This link up of marvelous is brought to you by Katie!

Marvelous was…a date with a blend. Annie and I have hung out several times in a group setting but we’ve been wanting to get together for a heart to heart for awhile now. Finally, Friday night, we made it happen. She suggested what ended up being a great spot, City Landing. The restaurant was so extremely accommodating for both vegan and gluten-free diets, but also offered plenty for those following no specific diet. Our bartender was so awesome – when we asked her to take a picture of us she took several, did the “above angle”, and positioned our drinks (which were amazing) so that they showed in the photo. I will definitely be making a return visit to City Landing; Annie and I especially want to bring Greg!

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From Left to Write Book Club: The Idea of Him

I received a complimentary copy of “The Idea of Him”. All opinions are my own. This is not a sponsored post.

I have been a bad From Left to Write book club member lately. I either don’t have time to read the books, or I read them and end up not getting around to posting or posting late (like I am today). But I figure better late than never is definitely true, especially when I enjoyed the book so much. The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson is definitely what I’d call “fun” fiction or “beach reading”, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t recommend it to someone looking for just that! I had a hard time putting this one down and found myself staying up late to read it. Always the sign of a good read.

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Girl’s Night Out at GEM

It occurred to me after hitting “publish” this morning that I could’ve made today the day for an April Fool’s blog post. But those get old pretty quickly so I think I’d rather show this post to you guys today! ;)

Last Thursday I was invited to a Girl’s Night Out event at GEM Kitchen & Lounge, a restaurant that was already on my Boston restaurant to-do list. Talk about convenient! And though I received an invite, the girly soiree was open to the public and even came with a free glass of bubbly or sangria, free blowouts and makeup tutorials, and a super awesome goodie bag!

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DJ Malyna O provided music and plenty of local Boston businesses came out to make it an evening to remember. My coworker Jeannie joined me and after we’d grabbed some bubbles, we decided to check out the vendor offerings while waiting for our turn for blow drys.

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Just Marvelous

I finished up my first full Boston weekend since my recent vacation and man it was just marvelous. I’m going home again this Saturday (for Penelope‘s first birthday party!) so to have a weekend with no events to work and just time to do what I enjoy, in the place I love, felt really great.

Be sure to link up with Katie!

Marvelous is…this video. I don’t usually watch YouTube videos but this one is too spot-on not to share. Plus it features two of my favorite things, saying “yaaaaas” and #Hathahate.

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Thinking Out Loud: Back in Boston

I’m back in Boston after my Mexico vacation and brief birthday stint back home. Coming back from vacation to a place where I’ve only lived a month is lovely because though I miss the warmth of Cancun, I really didn’t mind returning! I’m still so excited to continue to explore Beantown and also felt anxious to get back to my job, which I’m still loving. It feels like forever since I thought out loud so I felt a link-up with Amanda was in order!

1. Getting out of the hotel gym and back to the BSC feels great! Without a Stairmaster or group fitness, it’s super hard for me to get motivated to work out. Thank goodness for Danielle Dee’s Monday night spin class! That hour was the cherry on top of my first day back in my routine. Especially when Danielle said, “Good job, sweetheart.” to me after class. Hearing that direct “go you” from a group fitness instructor makes SUCH a difference. And it made me feel motivated to follow up the class with some core work! Tuesday night I finally tried a class I’ve been meaning to check out, Burn. I’d taken Step a couple of times from the instructor and he is so funny! The class was a series of tons of different exercises – not a repeated circuit, but seriously just cardio and strength exercises that were never repeated. I liked that the material was kept fresh and though it wasn’t as cardio-heavy as spin, I still felt it was the perfect workout for what I was feeling that evening. Here’s an example of one of the moves we did – partner push-ups.

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