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.

Despite having visited several times I have never had an entree at Townsman because certain small plates are SO GOOD that I can’t get away from them. I’ve never NOT had the deviled eggs (double negative, sorry not sorry), and the charcuterie is outstanding. How could it not be when it comes with the best mini biscuits ever, and fried pickles!

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I’ve been eyeing the beef crudo for awhile now, so we also ordered that, and it will absolutely be joining my repeat order rotation.

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We then met some more friends at the always marvelous Highball Lounge, which I am so glad I can resume frequenting on weekends now that my summer travels are done. The amount of people in the bar was perfect, the music spot-on, and the dance party pumpin’ thanks to my friends not caring that there isn’t ACTUALLY a dance floor at Highball (but we wish there was…)

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Gotta love a bar with props!

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Things are gettin’ serious in here.

We stayed until close, and then I went home and ate two marvelous slices of pizza in bed. Life.

I woke up earlier than I’d have liked on Saturday, but managed to drag my butt to the gym for a not marvelous thirty minutes on the Stair Master (well, it was marvelous when it was done). Then I got a text from my friend Matt asking me if I wanted to go to a free pool party at The Verb Hotel. Um, yes? I immediately cancelled all the errands I had planned for the day and hightailed it home to get ready.

We both showed up in chambray, after Matt falsely informed me that he would be wearing white.

The day was such a blast. We both enjoyed the complimentary Notch Brewing beer (IPA for Matt and Pilsner for me), as well as the souvenir koozies and slap bracelets.

Matt is a poolside pro and found us a nice corner to lay out towels (he brought one, but the hotel also provided plenty!), sunbathe, and enjoy some plant-related decor.

"Can you see me?!"

“Can you see me?!”

And then they started handing out chocolate covered frozen bananas, which I would call the lunch of champions.

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It was after the pool party that I received some marvelous news – a feature I had been interviewed for the previous week, called My Instagram, had gone LIVE on the Boston Globe’s website! And I’m so glad I found out while I was with friends, so we could all read it together. I’m happy with how it turned out and appreciate all the congrats I have received!

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Later in the evening I ended up at Eastern Standard – where else? – and was touched when one of the bartenders there, Naomi, surprised my friend and I with some champagne to celebrate the feature! It was the (Luxardo) cherry on top of a great day. As always, ESKD never fails at making me or my friends/family feel special.

Yesterday I woke up and decided to treat myself to a marvelous breakfast (brunch?) at Refuge Cafe, where I ordered an iced coffee and my favorite breakfast bowl: over-easy egg, chili, home fries, salsa, and avocado.

And I picked up a few hard copies of the Sunday Boston Globe, for myself and my parents! I was featured alongside some marvelous neon kitchenware.

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I could have stayed at Refuge forever, but I knew I’d feel better about the rest of my day if I went to a Sculpt class at CorePower, especially since I had some wine and snack related plans in the evening. Though the class was hard to get through, especially thanks to a surprise extra 15 minutes added on at the end, I left feeling marvelous as always. Then it was on to errands and, eventually, I ended up at Jeannie and Allie’s apartment to watch the VMAs.

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Jeannie did a marvelous job picking out snacks, and we ordered pizza too. The show was just as entertaining as we’d hoped, thanks to the Taylor Swift “Wildest Dreams” video premiere, her “Bad Blood” duet with Nicki, and Kanye’s off-the-rails speech.

Staring at Taylor in awe.

I was pretty stuffed once Jeannie decided to make some chocolate chip cookies, but how can I say no to a cookie and red wine?

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I went home pretty full but for that reason had a marvelous and cozy sleep and woke up today ready to take on the week. And I’ve got a great Monday planned, with a quick visit from my dad and a Red Sox game too. I hope everyone else had a great weekend – keep it in mind when you start feeling down about Monday!

What was the best part of your weekend?

Did you watch the VMAs? What was your favorite moment?

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!

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View from our table.

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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.

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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).

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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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Making Sherry Cocktails in the South End

I received complimentary admission to this event for media purposes. All opinions are my own and I’d pay for a Barcelona event in a hot second!

I had the chance a couple of weeks ago to attend a sherry cocktail making class at Barcelona Wine Bar‘s South End location in Boston. Regular readers will know this is definitely not my first event at Barcelona Wine Bar, and not even my first cocktail-related event – I attended a class about bitters at the West Hartford location a couple of years ago. This time around, the sherry-focused class was led by Corporate Bar Manager Jeff Marron.

The class started with some words from Jeff about sherry, but he quickly led us into the hands-on portion. He called up a couple people at a time to make four different cocktails, and the class got to sample each one!

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