ASICS GEL-Pursue Review

Back in 2007, when I first started working out regularly, I met with a personal trainer. Nick and I were getting married and I wanted to get in better shape. I had motivational issues, working my first full-time job, wedding planning, and trying to have a social life was taking its toll, getting up at 5 am to go to the gym before work (I was a morning person before kids too) and sometimes going after work took a lot of effort.

My trainer made a deal with me, if I logged a certain amount of workouts, cardio and strength, for 3 months, he would buy me a pair of shoes. The shoes were a pair of Asics, my first real running sneakers. I couldn’t tell you anything else about them, except they were lime green, but I did run my first 5K in them.

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Those shoes started my journey, and while there have been a few shoes in between, some of which I truly did love, no shoe brand has been able to update a shoe and keep my feet happy.

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These are our old asics that we use for house and yard work!

I was recently contacted by the team at Asics and they believed that I embodied their mantra, Better Your Best. This is something I truly am passionate about, I am not competing with anyone but myself. I want to be a better me, and continue to get stronger and faster! They asked if I would review their new shoe, the GEL-Pursue, the shoe was featured in the September issue of Runner’s World as the Best Debut Shoe. They wrote that the GEL-Pursue delivers equal parts cushioning and stability in a shoe that rides a bit lower.

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I have taken these shoes on a plethora of runs, some with B and the stroller, and most recently a few solo jaunts. One thing that I love about Asics is that their wide fit truly is a wide fit. I don’t have any overhang like I do with other shoes, my entire foot is comfortable and snug. While my training hasn’t been as great as I hoped it would be, my feet didn’t have any issues after almost a year of no running. The ASICS GEL-Pursue is a great shoe for neutral runners and it retails for $110.  These are one of the best pairs of shoes that I’ve ever worn, they offer the same support as all the other Asics I have worn, but they are not as heavy (8.7 oz) and have a lower drop, which is something I have grown to want in my running shoe.  I know to others that the shoe might seem heavy, but to me it was lighter than all the other Asics I have owned and run in.

Some other great features about the ASICS GEL-Pursue:

  • Impact Guidance System (I.G.S®) – enhances the foot’s natural gait from heel strike to toe-off.
  • Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL® Cushioning Systems – Mitigates shock during impact and toe-off phases, as well as allowing movement in multiple planes as the foot transitions through the gait cycle.

There are more pros, but I don’t want to make this post too long. My only complaint is that there is only one color scheme for the mens and women’s shoe. Obviously comfort is the most important thing, but I can’t say I wouldn’t love these more if they were pink! If you want to try and win a pair of your own, check out this post! I am really excited to run in them at Zooma, and even though it won’t be a race PR, it will be an emotional one!

The family that Asics together, stays together!

The family that Asics together, stays together!

Do you remember the shoes you ran your first race in?

Stitch Fix #3 and #4! June and July 2014

Before I get to my reviews, I would love if you could go LIKE this photo on Instagram, I am in the running to win a month unlimited at my local Pure Barre, I just need the most likes on this photo, any likes are appreciated, and I will make sure to follow you!

I appreciate all of your feedback on my last Stitch Fix post, I ended up not purchasing anything and emailing Stitch Fix about my disappointment. They ended up refunding my $20 styling fee and I emailed back and forth for a few days with a stylist, Jackie, who ended up styling fix #3 and #4.

Stitch Fix

For Stitch Fix #3 I asked for fun and flowy pieces and some options for my 30th birthday.

Andrew Marc Crystal Abstract Print Sheath Dress – $128

Andrew Marc Crystal Abstract Print Sheath Dress

This dress was way too long and boxy on me, I couldn’t even take a picture, I looked like a little kid in her mom’s clothes. Returned

Pomelo Moni Stud Detailed 3/4 Sleeve Blouse – $58

Pomelo Moni Stud Detailed 3/4 Sleeve Blouse

I really loved the sheerness and style of this top, unfortunately, I have broad shoulders like a football player, and the shirt felt like it pulled too much in that area. I would have loved it if it was a tank top and a tad bit cheaper. Returned

Papermoon Andi Ikat Print Maxi Skirt – $58

Papermoon Andi Ikat Print Maxi Skirt

I LOVED this skirt, it was super soft and I loved the print. It was a bit long, but I have a family member that can hem it for me so I won’t have to pay for that. It was pricy, but I have never been able to find a maxi skirt that I love so I purchased it. Purchased

THML Kahlo Racer Back Striped Maxi Dress – $78

THML Kahlo Racer Back Striped Maxi Dress

I loved the color of this dress and the pattern and style, but I hated it when I put it on, it just wasn’t super flattering on me, which was a bummer since it was the perfect length for my 5’1″ frame. Returned

Bay to Baubles Salinas Carved Leaf Drop Earrings – $28

IMG_8603Bay to Baubles Salinas Carved Leaf Drop Earrings

I don’t own a ton of earrings, I loved that these were very lightweight! Purchased

2 Items Purchased – $86 – $20 fee = $66

Stitch Fix #4 - After the 3rd box I updated my Pinterest Style Page and made sure to send the link with my feedback. I asked for legging style or stretchy pants, as they are more conducive for running after a very active toddler. I also asked for flowy tops and statement jewelry.

This one I need a bit of help with, I just got it yesterday, and need to return what I don’t want tomorrow, but I can’t decided!

Tart Eames Geo Print Gathered Waist Knit Shirt – $64

Rune Porter Basic Legging – $38

Rune Porter Basic Legging

Um, awkward hands. I LOVED the leggings, they were thick, comfortable and fit perfectly! And the price is perfect! I am definitely keeping these.

Le Sample Kahlo Embroidered Racerback Tank – $48

Le Sample Kahlo Embroidered Racerback Tank

I loved this tank, it is pretty much the same as the maxi dress above. I loved the blue colors and the design! I am wearing the leggings they sent with this top as well!

Kut From The Kloth Callie Denim Jacket – $78

Kut From The Kloth Callie Denim Jacket

I am on the fence about this jacket. My sister loved it, but it is a bit expensive. I also wanted to show you the back of this tank!

Zad Lisa Beaded Open Shape Bib Necklace – $44

Zad Lisa Beaded Open Shape Bib Necklace

I liked the look of the necklace in the box, but it isn’t as great as I thought it would be. The material seemed sort of dingy and not worth the price tag.

So here is my dilemma, I am for sure getting the leggings and tank, I can’t imagine sending them back. However, if I get the jean jacket it would be only $20 more to purchase everything (with the 25% discount for purchasing everything). What do you think? Jean jacket, yay or nay?

If you want to try Stitch Fix, feel free to use my referral link, I would greatly appreciate it!

Stitch Fix #1 and Stich Fix #2

Have you tried stitch fix yet? Link your review if you have one! 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: I’ve Got a Golden Ticket!

This post was inspired by the classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. To celebrate, Penguin Young Readers Group, in partnership with Dylan’s Candy Bar, the world-famous candy emporium, and First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise that provides books for children from low-income families, is launching a year-long international celebration.

Head over to From Left to Write to learn how you and your child can have a chance to win the Golden Ticket Sweepstakes where the grand prize is a magical trip to New York City plus much more! For every entry submitted, Penguin Young Readers Group will make a donation to First Book. Then, join From Left to Write on July 24 as we discuss Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. As a book club member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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I don’t know about you, but I am one of those annoying people where I totally believe the book is better than the movie, and the remake is NEVER as good as the original. However Charlie and the Chocolate Factory only falls into one of those categories. I saw Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory before I ever read the book.

While I believe the remake is much closer to the original story written by Roald Dahl 50 years ago, the original movie will always hold a special place in my heart. Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen both movies!

The opening credits always made me crave milky sweet chocolate. I always wished that I had a local candy shop like Charlie and his classmates. I think, hands down, my favorite part of the movie is when Willie Wonka leads the kids and their guardian through the factory and into the first room with the fudge waterfall and the gigantic gummy bears. Did you ever talk about what you would eat first if you ended up in that room, because my sister and I totally did. I totally memorized all the oompa loompa songs in the original movie and I have to say, I loved those way more than the ones in the second movie.

There were parts that totally scared the pants off of me, and probably you too. The scenes with Mr. Slugworth, totally creepy, and the boat ride after the first room, terrifying. These are scenes that are most definitely not in the remake, but are also not part of the book. And can we talk about the part where Charlie’s mom sings in the alleyway? Does anyone like that part?

Are you more of a fan of the original or the remake? Any favorite parts that remind you of childhood? 

Don’t forget to enter the Golden Ticket Contest!

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DanceFIT Studio – HOT BalletFIT Review & Giveaway!

Check out and see if you won the BarreFit App Giveaway! If you didn’t win, we have temporarily lowered the price to $1.99 so you can buy it. If you are local, I am giving away a great fitness prize today.

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Back in April, I was supposed to take part in a great Boston Blogger event at the DanceFIT Studio in Natick, MA, the event was to take DanceFit’s HOT BalletFit class. Unfortunately, due to some circumstances that I couldn’t control I wasn’t able to attend the event at last-minute. Gina, the owner was extremely accommodating and allowed me to take a class at another time.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it to the studio for the HOT BalletFit class until last weekend. Gina suggested that I drink 50 oz of water prior to the class and to have a light snack with protein, fat, and carbs. The class was at 10:30 am, so I was little apprehensive about how I was going to manage that much water before class, but I was able too.

When I got to the studio, I was early (since I wasn’t sure how bad traffic would be) so Gina showed me around and we chatted awhile before the other clients arrived.

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The gorgeous waiting area in the studio {source}

Gina answered all my questions and gave me lots of tips for the class. I had never taken a hot class of any kind before, so she suggested to take small sips of water. To go to into child’s pose at any point during the class or to even leave the room if I needed to.

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The room at the end of class. The beige box in the corner is the heater.

Sunday’s classes can be hit or miss, the week prior to my visit had 14 clients, the day I was there had 4 people registered, but there were only 2 of us in class. A year ago I would’ve been super intimidated by this, but I felt much more comfortable than I thought I would. There was more one-on-one instruction and I appreciate that, especially in a new class.

Weights and Bands! We used the silver ones on the left.

Weights and Bands! We used the silver ones on the left.

So what is HOT BalletFit? It is a full barre workout in a 92 degree room. The class focuses on ballet inspired exercises as well as high intensity cardio & fitness training. The heat aids in detoxifying the body and stretching & lengthening your muscles. There is a mat segment will be introduced toward the end of class.

Our workout started with more traditional moves at the ballet barre, I had taken ballet when I was very young, and I loved it, but I wasn’t able to stay with it. Some moves (and names) I could remember, other moves I had to keep my eyes on Gina in order to keep on beat.

Gina was extremely encouraging and helpful, she demonstrated modified movement for some poses to make it a bit easier or harder. That is something I always appreciate, we aren’t all in the same place on our fitness journey and it’s nice to see a teacher demonstrate different moves for the clients.

After some traditional ballet moves we moved to arm work using the silver weights in the picture above. It definitely took some getting used to, to hold these types of weights instead of the dumbbell style that I am used to. Since there were only 2 of us in the class, Gina would call out instructions to us separately, I needed to keep my elbows up, I also appreciated this, because when you are in a large class sometimes you aren’t sure if you need to correct your form or not.

After the weights we moved to floor work on our yoga mats. The ballet bars were moved to the back of the room and we did everything from planks to child’s pose. Throughout the class there was stretching, not just at the end, and Gina announced times where it would be great to take some water.

I ended up drinking 24 ounces of water during class and immediately following. I also drank about 15 ounces on the ride home and immediately refueled with a banana and almond butter.

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Gina and I post-class

So what did I think of the class? In short, I loved it! Gina was an amazing instructor, she was there to help each client reach their full potential but was also understanding when someone needed a move modified, or to take an extra water break. The studio is gorgeous, and has many classes to take, not just BalletFit. They offer many different types of BalletFit (HOT, Cardio, Stretch, Tone, etc…), they also offer Pilates, Zumba, Hip Hop Cardio (<— need to try ASAP), etc…

I immediately bought the Groupon for the Natick location. Unfortunately, DanceFIT is not super close to where I live currently. However, they have this awesome looking VirtualFIT program, where you Skype with an instructor and 9 other clients and you can take the classes from your home, how perfect is that? I also really want to try the 6FIT Program in the fall!

DanceFit has TWO locations, Natick ( 721 Worcester Road) located above the Dover Squash & Fitness Facility, and Brookline (25 Monmouth Road) located in the Church of Our Savior. Since the Brookline classes are in a church with no air conditioning, the class offerings are limited in the summer.

You can follow DanceFit on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!

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For the giveaway, one of you will win TWO classes at DanceFIT, that can be taken at either studio location! Enter the rafflecopter below. The giveaway will end Monday, June 23 at 11:59 PM EST.

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If you’d like to read other reviews from the Blogger event I have linked them here: Lucie, Vanessa, Nancy, and DanceFIT Studio.

Current Nutrition Plan & Lose It

The winner of the Bondi Band giveaway has been selected, and there is still time to enter the BarreFit App giveaway!

Disclaimer: The views I express are mine alone, based on what works for me, and should not be taken as medical advice. Always talk to your doctor or a trained professional before starting a new diet or fitness plan. 

As I mentioned in my last updates post, I was going to address some of the changes I have made to get back on track.

I finally met with a nutritionist last week. I worked with Amanda last year, and I had a lot of success and did really well over the summer, and basically until the miscarriage. After the miscarriage I tumbled into a very dark place, and basically gained all that weight I worked so hard to lose. I am not working with Amanda, not because she isn’t great, she is, but because I need to make a financially smart decision, and ultimately I found someone who takes my insurance. I know that I have the tools to be smart about my nutrition, but in order to get back on track I need some accountability in order to make sure I stay on track.

The appointment went really well. We talked about my background and we set a few small goals for myself. Two dealing with food, and the third with sleep.

Goal #1 – Log food for two weeks & email it to my nutritionist

I have been using Lose It for a really long time, for me it has been easier to use than any of the other food logs.

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This is under the goals tab, you can set what your personal goal is. I have blurred out my information, because it is personal to me and can trigger others. Once you fill out your information, it will tell you roughly how long it will take you to lose the amount of weight you want. It will take a long time, this isn’t something that happens over night, just be aware of that.

Goal #2 – Eat fruit or veggies with every meal

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This is a snap shot of one day. Breakfast I had Oats, with Almond Butter and Watermelon on the side. Oats are pretty constant, I’ve gotten rid of my beloved peanut butter. I actually only buy the one serving packets to avoid any over serving, but I usually have silvered almonds and a banana.

I usually have a morning snack because B goes down for his nap around 1ish, which means I don’t eat lunch until after that. Snacks are usually fruit or Fage 2% Greek yogurt with local honey. Lunch usually consists of broccoli, sweet potatoes, although lately it has been yellow yams, and grilled leftovers from the night before. Some days I will have an egg or an Engine 2 burger (my favorites are the black bean poblano and thai basil edamame).

Dinner is always a huge salad topped with grilled chicken, chicken sausage, turkey burger, salmon, etc… you get the idea. Some days I include roasted veggies on the side.

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At the end of the day your log can look this:

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I am trying to keep my carbs, protein and fat are a certain percentage every day, and this is another tool that helps keep me on track.

One of my favorite parts is the recipe builder

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I cook a lot, so I add my personal recipes to my account so it makes it easier for me to log my food daily. I also have a timer set to go off at 9 pm in case I forget to log my food.

Lose It also a premium membership, that I don’t currently have, where you can meal plan, connect your Jawbone or FitBit, an exercise log, and more in-depth nutrient counts. It costs $39.99 a year, I guess I should probably get that, huh?

Logging food doesn’t work for everyone, but it works for me. It worked for me in the past and I know it can work now. I try to keep my 20% for the many special occasions I have coming up, like birthdays, weddings, etc.. So I tend to eat pretty clean Monday –  Friday and have one splurge on Saturday and Sunday.

Goal #3 – Get more real sleep

This one will be a struggle for me, just because of the sheer fact that B does not always sleep through the night. Nick and I switch off nights, so I can hopefully get some solid sleep on my off nights, but sometimes I still wake up.

She also gave me a list of sleep techniques to use to get better sleep. I use a Jawbone Up that was gifted to me, mostly to track my sleep. It has an alarm that goes off 40 minutes before my bed time, at this point I turn off my computer, phone, tv, etc… and start getting ready for bed. I get things ready for the next day and then I read for about 20 minutes, using a paper book or my kindle that isn’t backlit. My goal is to get at least 7.5 hours of sleep a night. I’m not always succesful, but it is a work in progress.

Bondi Band Review and Giveaway

You all know I love a great workout headband. I have reviewed many different types on this blog, through my relationship with Fit Approach, I was able to review Bondi Bands. I have heard and seen Bondi Bands for a long time, especially in the runner world, but I haven’t had a chance to try them out until now.

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First, let me tell you a bit about Bondi Bands! Bondi Bands are a stretchy yet form-fitting band that is composed of a blend of nylon, lycra, and spandex. These headbands are great for all hair types! They also donate 10% of pre-taxed earnings to a charity, in 2009 it was the Dana Farber Cancer Institute (DCFI).

I was sent 2 headbands, one for me and one to giveaway, unfortunately due to a mixup, neither were my style. I was then sent two more headbands. So one lucky reader will win TWO headbands instead of one!

Flat Back Narrow Bondi BandThe first headband I tried was the Flat Back Narrow Band in Hot Pink, when I first put it on my hair was wet, and it stayed put. However as my hair dried the band started to slip backward.

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This was a taken a little over an hour after the picture above. I wasn’t even working out, I was driving. I will note that when I had my hair down the band didn’t move at all. So I think this will be an around the house or yoga type of headband.

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The other 3 headbands I received are the more traditional bands that you see from Bondi Bands. Hot Pink Have a Magical Run, Black The Journey is the Reward, and Aqua I Bust Mine so I can Kick Yours.

I really loved the black one, I wanted to try it out at my Poise class, but I woke up with a migraine and didn’t make it to class that morning. I did wear it around all day yesterday, which included visits to the playground, running around outside, and lots of doctors appointments, and it stayed on the whole time.

You can win the Have a Magical Run and I Bust Mine so I can Kick Yours bands, enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway ends Monday, June 9 at 11:59 pm EST

Even if you don’t win, you can receive 10% off your order at Bondi Bands, excluding Bargain Bin, Design Your Own, and Custom Items, use code SWEATPINK until June 28th to take part of this deal!

What is your favorite way to sweat?

Stitch Fix #2: June 2014

 

 

 

Stitch Fix

My last Stitch Fix was pretty on point, my stylist nailed my style, but all the pieces didn’t fit right, or I had something similar in closet already.

I scheduled a second Fix for the begining of June, mostly because my 30th birthday is in the middle of the month and I wanted to see if I could find something special to wear for a pretty big day. When I wrote my review for my first fix I received an email from Kate at Stitch Fix, so I was super impressed with their customer service.

I made a note to the stylists that I wanted something fun for my 30th birthday, I love maxi dresses and skirts, I also requested no jeans. I wrote that I own a lot of pinks and blacks and while I love those colors I wanted to expand my wardrobe.

As soon as I opened my box and saw the Stitch Fix cards I was kind of disappointed. The stylist included a dress that was knee length. I noted on the first fix that it was too short for easy comfortable movement when chasing a toddler around. If it was dressy enough for a wedding I would consider it, but it was not flattering on the hips/stomach.

41Hawthorn Apollo Sleeveless Geo Print Sheath Dress – $68

41Hawthorn Apollo Sleeveless Geo Print Sheath Dress

I love the price point, but again the color is just another black dress in my closet, and the material felt a bit to heavy for the summer.

Kensie Jeans Johnny Skinny Jeans – $88

I didn’t even take a picture of these as they are very similar to the jeans that I received in my last fix, and the fit was the same, tight and not flattering. I am not against paying a decent amount of money for jeans,  but they better look great on me.

Papermoon Taylor V-Neck Graphic Print Tank – $48

Papermoon Taylor V-Neck Graphic Print Tank

I love the color and style of this tank, but I am not sure it is super flattering? Nick liked it, B liked it, what do you think? It probably doesn’t help that I am wearing a sports bra instead of a strapless. This isn’t something that I would pick out on my own, but now that I see it on, I do think it is a great style for my body.

41Hawthorn Bryan Short-Sleeve Open-Front Cardigan – $42

41Hawthorn Bryan Short-Sleeve Open-Front Cardigan

I do think that this is a cardigan that I would wear, probably because I have one very similar to this in my closet, just the sleeves are 3/4 length. I am definitely going to pass on this one. If It was a color other than black white and gray.

Market and Spruce Dicaprio Layered Mixed Material Knit Shirt – $54

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My stylist wrote that she included this because I like gray and pink. That was sort of frustrating since I specifically said I wanted to get out of that rut. That being said the shirt looks terrible on me. I love the color blocking, but the pink was flowy and the gray part was fitted. I felt like unless I was very slender this wouldn’t look great no matter my size, girls got curves. The price is also a bit high for a t-shirt.

I am going to give Stitch Fix (referral link) another try, because I think the potential is there. I am hoping that they will nail it for an awesome outfit for B’s 3rd birthday.

What do you think? Should I keep the green tank?

A Marvelous Weekend: Seasons 52, Pure Barre, & MiniLuxe

First things first,THANK YOU to everyone who commented and shared on yesterday’s post, it means the world to Nick and I. Secondly, I have to say Happy Birthday to my dear sister. She is my best friend and I love her to pieces.

456_mandk2012The food and drinks featured in this post were received free of charge. I had no idea that would be happening until I finished my meal, and all opinions of my experience are my own. This post is not sponsored. 

As you have read, the past few months have been extremely difficult, lots of loss, and emotions and it’s just been hard. Through it all I have had amazing support in some of local friends and blends.

This past Friday, Caitlin invited me to Seasons 52 with her to try the new spring menu mini indulgences. I will always jump at the chance to go to Seasons, Cait went with me on first visit (to the Burlington location), Nick and I went once to celebrate a very belated Valentine’s Day, and this past weekend I tried the Chestnut Hill Square location.

Seasons 52 is all about seasonal food. Seasonal usually means the freshest, healthiest options. Caitlin introduced me to this amazing chain restaurant and I am so glad she did, it is now one of my favorites.

source: Cait

source: Cait

I was, of course, running late to our scheduled meet time because of that pesky route 9 traffic. Luckily Lydia, our amazing server for the night, was able to give Cait a few tastes of different types of wine before she decided on her drink while she waited for me.

As soon as I got to the restaurant I ordered my standard prosecco and we were greeted by a few different members of the staff and given suggestions on what they love on the menu.

IMG_8203We started with the special flatbread, Greek of course, it came with lamb, cucumber, tomato and feta. A member of the staff suggested to get some tzatziki on the side and I think the should automatically on the side, it was phenomenal and I am a pretty tough critic.

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For my main meal I had one of the menu staples at Seasons 52, at the urging of Cait and Lydia. It was the cedar-plank salmon with roasted vegetables, crushed potatoes, and a lemon dill sauce. I’ll admit that I am usually very wary of ordering salmon at restaurants because it can be dry and I hate that. But I knew I loved Seasons’ food and I knew Cait wouldn’t steer me wrong. It was of course phenomenal, the salmon was perfectly cooked and the dill sauce was amazing. What really sold me was that there were beets in the roasted veggies.

IMG_8207Peanut Butter Torte Mini-Indulgence

Since we were there to try the new Spring mini-indulgences, I had to have dessert. Honestly, I couldn’t decide between this one, the s’mores, and the key lime… so I went with my standard combo and it was wonderful. The flavors were bold and delicious, a perfect blend of salt and sweet. The dish was also very light and I didn’t feel too stuffed after our meal.

I can’t say enough good things, not just about the food but also about the staff at Seasons 52, if you haven’t been yet, make your reservations ASAP!

The rest of my weekend was just as wonderful. I started Saturday morning at Pure Barre with Jane, then got my first manicure & pedicure at MiniLuxe in Lynnfield. I can’t recommend MiniLuxe enough. It is on the pricier side, but I will always pay more for cleanliness. The staff was extremely nice, and the color selection was large, especially the gel selection. Also, the lemonade lotion is the perfect smell for spring and summer!

IMG_8209Call me crazy, but I prefer the places without the massage chairs

Then Nick, B, and I went to CT for some family time and a bridal shower. It has been awhile since I had such a wonderful weekend. Not that there weren’t wonderful moments, but with all the sadness I needed some uplifting things, and this weekend was perfection. Thank you, ladies <3

Have you ever been to Seasons 52? Thoughts?

 

Get Skinny Again: Review

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge in exchange for my review through my relationship with FitFluential. As always all opinions are my own. 

IMG_7785I received Sarah’s book: Get Skinny Again! back in February but I wanted to be able to try some of the recipes and workouts before I was able to give a thorough review to you. Before we get to the review I want to address the title of the book, while my end goal is not to “get skinny again” it is to have a healthy lifestyle and enjoy the healthy foods and workouts that are a part of my every day. I know the title can be off-putting, but I find that is the case for most healthy living type of books.

Sarah’s blog and YouTube channel were among the first I read and watched when I started getting into blogs, I always appreciated that she is real and talks about healthy living in a way that applies to most people, not just bloggers. She has HIIT workouts and how to buy a week of groceries under $40. I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting Sarah in person, she’s a very well-known blogger and YouTube personality, but she is extremely nice and encouraging to everyone she meets.

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The book is divided into three parts:

  • Time To Get On Your Fitness
  • Time To Eat Clean To Get Lean
  • Time To Live The Fit Life

I really loved all the different workouts in this book, there were a bunch of different types of workouts and I loved that each move had one entire page dedicated to it. For a lot of workout plans I end up looking on YouTube for some exercises, and there are a lot of badly performed exercises uploaded. The pictures show the moves and most steps as well as what you should not look like or be doing in some moves. I do wish they showed some modifications for items like push-ups or side planks. Not every person can do all the moves and it would be nice to not have to improvise or complete an exercise in poor form.

There are not only strength workouts, but cardio workouts as well, some of the cardio workouts include running. I do wish Sarah had used not only speed numerals but cues to how you should be feeling as not everyone runs the same pace. Overall, I really loved the Fitness section, it included home and gym workouts as well as stretching.

Now on to the Food section. Sarah included a lot of healthy options that you can find at chain restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and I really appreciated that. She also gave some helpful ideas for meal planning, and of course recipes. I can’t wait to try the Salsa Chicken Quesadillas and Energy Bites.

IMG_6253Peanut Butter & Jelly Time Smoothie (minus the chia)

The last section, Living the FIT LIFE, is one of the most important, it stresses that every journey is different, and every body is different. What works for you may not work for someone else and vice versa. She also gives ideas about how to still have a social life and go out with your friends, significant other, etc… and still eat or drink healthier items. I appreciate a healthy lifestyle book that doesn’t expect you to give up your social life and spending time eating outside your own kitchen.

You can buy the book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. You can follow Get Skinny Again on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can follow Sarah on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Have you read Sarah’s book? Do you read her blog or watch her YouTube channel? What do you think?

Dad Is Fat: Parenting is Fun(ny)

This post was inspired by the novel Dad Is Fat by comedian Jim Gaffigan who riffs on his adventures co-parenting 5 kids in a two bedroom Manhattan apartment. Join From Left to Write on April 22 we discuss Dad Is Fat. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

 

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This is the 4th book for the month of April for From Left to Write this month, and possibly one of my favorites. I have been a fan of Jim Gaffigan’s for a while so I knew, especially since I am a parent, that I would love his book. As I read I kept marking passage after passage that would give me ideas of what to write about, and there are a million ideas I have swirling around in my head.

What I ended up deciding on is something that I find some parents struggle with, and those who aren’t parents might not understand. Parenting is fun, but it is also funny, but it isn’t for everyone. Having kids, especially if you are the first among friends and family, can be very alienating. You are navigating this brand new part of life, and are in charge of this human being (!!), and you don’t have anyone who can relate to you.

Jim Gaffigan writes about how he is called anti-family because of some of the things he says or posts on social media, and I too have gotten rude comments about things I have said. As Jim writes in the book, complaining about taking your kids to swim lessons or navigating the world of play dates doesn’t make you a bad parent, you are taking your kids to these events, and most of the time other parents can relate about how hard some aspects of parenting are.

It is hard to find mom friends and play groups if you don’t have kids at the same time as your social circle. But I guarantee you will have some stories to share that are on-par with blind date horror stories.

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You will learn that swim diapers are not meant to hold pee, and will have a horrifying moment before you realize that, and then you will laugh at your ridiculousness.

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You will constantly question if you are doing things the “right way” and social media will always tell you that you are doing it the wrong way. Spoiler, social media is full of martyr moms and know-it-alls. 

photo-1.JPGYou will find your own way as a parent, and just when you thought you’ve got one aspect figured out, something else will throw you for a loop…I’m talking to you sleep.

IMG_5596.JPGAnd if you are lucky, you will find someone to share this journey with you. A dad to your child that you just couldn’t imagine parenting without. The person that will laugh with you when you finally share your ridiculous swim diaper story, and who will also have their story to share with you.

I loved this book, I laughed through the whole thing and I had to refrain from reading passages to Nick every 30 seconds. I highly suggest you get your own copy ASAP!

What is one of your hilarious parenting stories?