Studio Poise: Week 3 and learning to trust my body

Disclaimer: I was given an month of unlimited classes in exchange for my honest review. This is not a sponsored post.

I can’t believe that I am already blogging about my third week at Studio Poise. If you missed them, check out weeks one and two.

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My week again started (errr ended?) with Pound Fit with Emily. I literally added my name to the wait list for every single class that fit in my schedule, so whenever I made it off the list, I jumped at the opportunity to take the class. Friday was no exception, the class was once again wonderful. The music was loud and fun to workout to. Emily kept the energy up and happy. I was working hard but I was also having fun.

RipStix!

RipStix!

Saturday I took my first ever Zumba class. That class is no joke, mad props to all of who do that 2 or 3 or even more times a week. Basically Zumba, if you haven’t taken it, is a series of dances sequences. Each song has specific dance moves and these songs are in multiple classes. I suppose if you go 2 times a week it might become easy to catch on.

I ended up towards the back in this class and in retrospect this was probably a good thing. I was able to not only watch Danielle but also the other students, and that made it easier.

I took Zumba again on Tuesday evening. I usually hate taking evening classes, but I enjoyed Zumba so much that I didn’t really mind that it was at night. It was also early enough that I could get home at a reasonable hour. Tuesday’s class I was in the front and I actually found that a bit more difficult. Whenever Danielle took a break or watched us or faced us I lost my focal point and sometimes forgot what I was supposed to be doing.

Overall, I really enjoyed Zumba, I found some of the sequences extremely difficult, but others were very easy for me to catch on. I loved that the music wasn’t all latin, not that I hate latin music, but it was fun to put a song that I know and love along with some serious dance moves that were making me work.

The last thing is that for this class you are supposed to wear clean indoor sneakers. I had a pair of Under Armour sneakers that hadn’t made it into the outdoor rotation yet, and I had worn to the gym a handful of times. These were actually very uncomfortable so for Tuesday’s class I wore the sneakers that I wear to Achieve, and they were almost perfect. Because of the grippy bottoms they weren’t as smooth as I would like, but I had no foot pain post workout. I would definitely invest in a pair of minimalist sneakers for this class if I make it a part of my regular rotation.

I was supposed to take Piloxing yesterday (Wednesday) but I never woke up on time. I remember my early alarm going off. I usually have three alarms, the first one wakes me up, the second usually gets me out of bed, but sometimes it takes the third. Regardless, I heard the first, I thought that I hit snooze, but then I woke up at 6:20 am. Nick said he didn’t hear any alarms and I don’t think I turned them off. (I think that maybe I turned them all of with the initial alarm) Class had just started and I could possibly make it, but I realized how rude that would be. I am signing up for this class for my last week because even after last weeks disaster and yesterday’s issue I truly want to try it.

FYI: Studio Poise’s missed class policy is if you are an unlimited monthly member you pay $10, if you just pay by the class then you lose that credit.

This missed class made me realize something that I think I have been missing. I believe that because of the cost of the gym membership and my goals I sometimes don’t listen to my body and take a must need rest day. Now that we are on the path of trying to get pregnant post-miscarriage I realize I need to listen to my body more than ever. I am trying to not beat myself up over a missed class, especially one that I was really excited to try, because it was what my body needed.

How do you deal when you miss a gym class?

Studio Poise: Week One

Disclaimer: I was given an month of unlimited classes in exchange for my honest review. This is not a sponsored post.

As I mentioned in Monday’s post I am currently taking classes at Studio Poise in Lynnfield, MA.

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I actually came across Studio Poise because of Cait’s visit. We wanted to take a local class and I started looking at pregnancy appropriate places (since my gym doesn’t have drop in classes), because of the miscarriage we changed our plans. Danielle, owner of Studio Poise, still responded to my email and we started chatting about her studio. In exchange for blogging about my experience she graciously offered me a month unlimited to try as many classes as I wanted.

Danielle started Studio Poise in May 2012, all while working full-time and coaching at a local high school, and on October 7th, 2013 SP2 (the second studio) was opened. So what is Studio Poise all about?

Poise is a fusion of pilates, dance, light weight, isometric, and athletic conditioning that encourages grace and athleticism to transform your entire body and build confidence, posture, and poise. This class is so affective, we named the whole studio after it! Source

Besides Poise there is also Arms & ab(noxious) Xpress, Barrework, Barrework Xpress Nothin’ But Leg, Piloxing, Piloxing Xpress, Poise Bootcamp Xpress, Poise Fusion, Poise Fusion Xpress, Poise Power Flow, Poise Power Flow Xpress, Poise Stretch and Tone, Poise Xpress, ZUMBA Fitness, ZUMBA Toning, ZUMBA Xpress and the newest class on the schedule POUND!

All the Xpress classes are 40 minutes and all the other classes are 55 minutes, except for POUND which is 45 minutes. Even the 40 minute classes will leave your whole body feeling like jello, in a good way.

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I will be honest and say that aside from one terrible spin class in 2008 and my classes at Achieve, I haven’t taken another group exercise class, not even yoga. Danielle shared with me that the community at Studio Poise is very welcoming and fun. Everyone chats with everyone and other members will welcome newcomers as if they’ve always been there.

Since my group exercise experience is limited I asked Danielle what I should take first and she recommended Poise Fusion. It is a combination of the studio’s two favorites, poise and barrework.

Last Thursday I took my first class, Poise Fusion, with Christina. There were only six of us besides Christina and I loved that a local blogger, Stellina, was there so I didn’t feel too out-of-place. Christina had great pumped up jams and explained all the moves clearly.

This past weekend, I took Poise Xpress with Danielle, the class was full, I was actually on the wait list and was able to get into the class at 10 pm the night before. Everyone in class had a great attitude and was excited to be there. Danielle had different music than Christina, but it still got me pumped up and ready to move.

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Prime Spot behind Danielle’s mat!

Tuesday, I took Poise Fusion Xpress with Emily. There were only three students, and over the weekend I read this article that had 10 Tips For Taking Your First Barre Class. I believe they apply to most group classes, not just barre. However, there were two that stuck out to me. The first being, don’t be shy. Since the class was small I was able to put my mat right next to Emily’s. Not only did this give me a better view of what we should be doing, it actually helped her correct my form, not just physically but verbally as well, and that was extremely helpful.

The second piece that stuck out was shaking is good and that shaking from the beginning was what you wanted. I definitely felt out of shape during my first class since it seemed like I was shaking before other students.

So far I have loved every class and instructor at Studio Poise, all the other students are super nice and I am feeling the burn. Another plus is that the cost of classes is a little lower than average for what I have seen at other studios in the area, and there is a more offered in terms of classes.
Monthly Unlimited – $150/month
20 class series – $200
10 class series – $115
Zumba or Xpress class – $12
Single class – $15
First Time Client Series (3 classes) – $28

Studio Poise 6WtC

Studio Poise is running their famous 6 Weeks to Chic program right now as well, if you are interested act fast as space is limited and it starts November 2. The program includes 3 meetings, 5 classes per week that fit into your schedule, Nutrition Counseling from Danielle (who is certified), 10% discount on your next class purchase, and much more. The cost is $300 or if you are an unlimited member $100. If you are interested contact Danielle. If I wasn’t hoping to get pregnant again I would be all over this, but if there is another program post- (eventual) baby you better believe I will be the first person to sign up.

You can also follow Studio Poise on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

So are you going to join me at Studio Poise? I promise you will have a great time!

Wakefield Farmers Market

A lot of the Farmers Markets near where we lived in Medford had bizarre hours, like Wednesdays from 12 – 5. Not conducive for me when I was working, and when I had B, not really ideal, as the area wasn’t great for strollers and he hated being worn.

Well, fast forward to now, there is a great farmers market in Wakefield, I’ve seen it a bunch of times when I was driving by, and I knew I needed to make an effort to stop. This past Saturday, I went with my mother-in-law, and purchased some fabulous items.

For this WIAW, I am going to share my finds and what I made with them.

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Farm fresh eggs. I love these babies. They can be expensive, but so worth it. 1 dozen for $6 or 2 dozen for $11 from Copicut Farms in Dartmouth, MA

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Pajazzo from Swiss Bakers, I have been meeting to visit their store front since we moved to the ‘burbs. We also bought an almond croissant & a chocolate croissant for the boys. The bread was nice and crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside. Perfect for dipping!

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Cucumbers, $1 each, from Kelly’s Farm, the woman running the booth was super sweet and told me to take one of the pickles as well. I don’t eat pickles so Nick will have to report back about the taste.

I hit the jackpot at Farmer Dave’s! All of the food below cost me $30.

fruit

2 apples, a pint of blueberries, 4 zucchini’s, a pint of raspberries

veg

Boston lettuce, 2 peppers, carrots, wax beans and green beans, and lettuce

I forgot to take a picture of the sign so I can’t remember exact prices for everything, but it was a pretty good deal.

Not pictured, Butternut Squash ravioli and Basil & Goat Cheese ravioli from Fior D’Italia. We haven’t opened the basil in goat cheese yet, but I was sort of expecting a puree of sorts inside the butternut squash ravioli, but it was more chunks and there was also cheese and peppers, which I wasn’t expecting, and not working well together on my taste buds.

So what did we make?

A huge salad obviously, it is so much better than anything you will ever buy. Nick’s mom also made us zucchini and beans in tomato sauce. Super easy, sauté garlic and onion in a little bit of oil, add zucchini and beans, add sauce. Cook until the veggies are soft. Spoiler, it went amazing with the bread from the Swiss Bakers.

Check out even more delicious eats at WIAW!


Whole Foods Market: Melrose, MA

If you live in the Greater Boston area you probably heard about how Whole Foods acquired 6 Johnnie’s Foodmasters. I didn’t live here long enough to really get attached to Johnnie’s and I love Whole Foods, so for me it was a win.

When we moved from our condo to our house we were either going back to Medford or to Woburn to grocery shop, while I enjoyed the stores it could be a trek, especially if B was cranky. I did try shopping at our neighborhood chain but I was spending the same amount of money for products that were not as high quality.

Then I remembered that Whole Foods was coming to Melrose. Melrose is a few towns over, but in terms of mileage not very far at all. The store is located at 880 Main Street in Melrose, MA.

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Through my relationship with other area Whole Foods I was able to partake in a one-on-one tour of the new location. I want to start by thanking Heather, who is the Public Relations Manager for the North Atlantic Region, and Carrie, who is the Marketing Team Leader which is a community liaison, she handles the activities, social media, the giving back, etc…

Also, the store is opening July 24, that is tomorrow! They start with the traditional bread breaking ceremony at 9:45 am. Mayor Robert Dolan and the Store Team Leader both say a few words and they break a giant loaf of braided bread, that you can of course can sample, and then the store is open. Be a part of  the Whole Foods Market History! The community market’s version of a ribbon-cutting, the bread breaking ceremony has been held at the opening of every Whole Foods Market store in the world.

Before I give you information on the Melrose store, I want to give you some over all Whole Foods information. Some of it was new to me and I have been shopping at Whole Foods pretty exclusively for 4 years.

  • Any product can be sampled in the store. This applies to body, grocery, etc… If you come across a package of crackers that you aren’t sure about find a team member and they will let you sample the cracker. This applies to everything, cheeses, olives, etc… If you aren’t comfortable trying the item in the store, bring it home and try it, if you do not like it, bring it back. Whole Foods has a satisfaction guaranteed policy.
  • At any given time there are over 1000 items on sale, and if you follow Whole Foods Melrose on Facebook or Twitter you will notice they have Flash Sales in the stores, these sales are for things like fruit, veggies, fish, meat, etc..
  • There are over 80 items banned from Whole Foods stores, things like HFCS and aspartame to name a few. Going to our chain store trying to find a BBQ sauce without HFCS was like finding a needle in a haystack, Whole Foods definitely makes shopping a little easier.
  • Whole Foods offers more than organic items, they also offer conventional items, but those items are still high quality. To add to this, many think that Whole Foods is TOO EXPENSIVE, I know for our family I was spending the same at WF that I was spending at the nearest national grocery chain. A great example is this:

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Whole Foods EVOO is $5.99, pretty reasonable.

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If you want to try a higher end EVOO you can, for $24.99

There really is something for every budget.

Now for the tour and some information so you know what to expect when heading into Whole Foods Melrose for the first time, keep in mind some areas are still under construction and so my pictures are an accurate portrayal of what was going on before the opening.

The store is 31,000+ square feet and has 125 employees, 70% of which are Full-Time, FT for Whole Foods is 30 hours a week. They do this so that more employees are eligible for FT benefits.

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The produce department, empty at the moment, but it will soon be full of fresh fruits and veggies!

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Whole Foods has tons of signage throughout the store, like the above, that is telling you where an item comes from. All the stores have artists that create these signs, they are trained in a specific font and create these signs. Very cool!

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Check out this Bulk Bins area! This is probably the largest bulk bin area I have seen. Carrie told me that they plan on putting out booklets on how to cook the different items that you can buy in bulk. I know for me personally that I can become intimidated by a new to me item. Uh, hello Quinoa! By providing these booklets they are hoping that as consumers we can expand our cooking and even save money! This is also where you can buy your nut butters and they have 3 nut butter grinders, one plain peanut, one honey peanut, and the third is yet to be determined!

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As we move down the store we end up at the Fish Market & Butcher Shop.

All Whole Foods adhere to the MBA and BOI standards on all wild caught seafood so that customers can make informed decisions about the seafood they are purchasing.
The seafood is delivered to all the MA Whole Foods from Gloucester 6 days a week.

Now off to the Butcher Shop, it is a real butcher shop, the employees are experienced butchers, and if you don’t know how to cook a type of meat, any of the butchers would be willing to give you tips or recipes, so don’t be afraid to ask! The items (sausages, burgers, kabobs, etc…) are all made in store. The meat is labeled with the Animal Welfare Standards, 1-5, it is a way of knowing how your animal was raised before buying.

There are also freezer sections with seafood and meat, great places to pick up or stock up with items when you don’t want to go to the store!

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Next we see the Whole Body area. Heather was right on the money when she said those who work in Whole Body are some of the most passionate, their motto is “What goes on your body is just as important as what goes ON your body”. They even have swap out events, these events are free and you can swap out things like deodorants and toothbrushes for better ones from the Whole Body section.

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Here is the frozen section. They have local products, vegan products, frozen meals, etc…

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Milk, Eggs, Yogurt and Butter. All eggs are cage free and all milk is rBGH free.

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One of my favorite sections is the cheese! They have multiple kinds of cheeses, a charcuterie, and will have a pasta station. The pasta will be cut to order {edited the pasta will not be made in house, just cut in house}…and now you know where to find me on the days I am carb loading!

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You can find blocks and shredded cheeses pre-packaged!

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They also have wedges of cheese pre-cut, but if you need one smaller or larger they will cut it for you in the store.

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The empty antipasto bar!

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But again, running late to your party, grab some pre-packaged olives and be the star of the party!

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On to the bakery! Something new I learned was that even in the cakes and pastries baked at Whole Foods there are no artificial flavors or colors. If you custom order a cake with red or green frosting, they might use beets or kale to make the coloring, how cool is that?

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I’ve never seen this at a Whole Foods before, a bulk candy bin, but have no fear it is natural candy, again with no artificial flavors or colors. As a mom, I love this. Kids want candy sometimes and in moderation it is definitely okay. I would feel very comfortable letting my son get candy from here (well in a few years anyway).

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This is where you will find items that are for those who have allergies!

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The bread is made in a bakehouse in Medford, very local!

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In the prepared foods, they have a pizza area that has its own dedicated phone line, so you can call in your order, shop, pick up your pizza, pay and head home! They will also have baklava and barbari bread which is an Afghan flatbread. As well as sandwiches, Panini’s, and little crock dishes, like pot pies. The crock dishes will change based on what the chef decides to put out. Lastly, there will be the in-house made Kikka Sushi.

Of course there will be your traditional hot and cold bars. Breakfast will be on the bar from 8-10 am and then lunch & dinner options for the rest of the day.

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When you see the label “From Our Kitchens” that means the items were made in their larger kitchens in Everett, MA (again super local) and shipped to stores.

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Anytime you see the Health Starts Here sign, this is an indicator for those who are starting their healthy eating journey. These items are healthy options with no oil, minimal salt, no added sweeteners. There are also experts in the store that can help you make smart choices.

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Near one of the 7 registers there is a community calendar, you find store events as well as fun community events!

Whole Foods is also great at giving back, four times a year they have what is called “5% days” 5% of the stores daily total is given to a community charity that the Marketing Team Leader helps pick.

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On opening day, WF Melrose has picked 5 recipients to receive 1% of the day’s sales. Those recipients are: The Melrose Educational Foundation, The Mayor’s Melrose Emergency Fund, The Friends of the Aging Group, The Bingham Community Playground at the Lincoln School, and the Servant’s Heart Food Pantry. The register coupon for the first month will be for the Bingham Community Playground.

Each of these charities will have representatives on opening day at Whole Foods Melrose if you want more information.

I love that Whole Foods isn’t just about getting good food in our bodies, or products for our bodies, they are about being a part of the community in which they are located, and not just another chain grocery store.

Are you going to head down for opening day? What is your favorite thing about your local Whole Foods?

Achieve Fitness: What it means to me

Disclaimer: This is my 100% honest review of Achieve Fitness, I am not being compensated at all, but I wanted to share my thoughts on the gym!

I know I have mentioned in a few posts that I have changed my workout regimen but I haven’t really talked about it much more. The gym I am currently at definitely deserves at least one post, although I am sure there will be more. (I do still meet with my personal trainer once a week or every two weeks, and while he is a great trainer, he and I both agree that I need more consistency)

I was first introduced to Achieve Fitness by Amanda. When I first went to her about upping my nutrition game, we talked about my fitness routine. While I have been very vocal about the fact that you can maintain fitness while working out at home, it has become clear to me that in order to LOSE weight I needed some additional help. Since the gym Amanda owns with her husband, Skill of Strength, isn’t close enough for me to visit on a regular basis, she helped me find a gym that is. Amanda introduced me to Lauren and Jason at Achieve Fitness.

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Achieve Fitness is located in Somerville, MA, pretty close to where Nick and I used to live, and only about a 15 minute drive from where we currently are. The gym is relatively new in the area, I was constantly on the hunt for a gym that would “fit” me before we moved out of the area, and I am so glad there is one there now! I set up an initial meeting with Lauren and after some nasty snowstorms that hindered our original plan we met.

The first meeting was what they call a strategy session, I talked about my fitness and health goals, health history, injuries, and previous training experiences. After discussing my goals Lauren took me through a Functional Movement Screening, I felt okay after this. I was frustrated that I had a low score, but I felt confident that with work I could raise this score.

The next step was deciding if Achieve was right for me or not? It’s not cheap and as a stay-at-home mom, the money I spend needs to be spent on things I love and need. After a series of emails and my initial time spent in the gym I was sold, sometimes you just know!

Before telling you a bit more about my experience, I want to share more about Achieve as a gym.

Mission

Lauren and Jason wanted to create a space where the trainers are more invested in the clients than the money. Where the atmosphere is welcoming and un-intimidating and where the clients had a clear vision of where they wanted to be and HOW to get there.

I joined Achieve in February and have a little over 3 months experience in the gym. I can whole-heartedly say they hit the nail on the head. I feel like Lauren and Jason are pushing me in ways I wouldn’t do on my own, they are constantly encouraging me in class and I feel like I have learned so much about my body and fitness.

Classes

There are three types of classes at Achieve.

Strength Training: which is a full body strength workout. These are set up in exercises for specific repetitions. Usually in 15 minute segments, we are given a set of 4 or 5 exercises and we do as many rounds as possible.

MetCon: stands for metabolic conditioning, these are the group cardio workouts. The classes use lots of equipment, TRX’s, kettlebells, medicine balls, ladders, ropes, sleds, etc… We usually do 3 or 4 rounds of 40 seconds on 30 seconds off for each workout.

Kettlebell: Both Lauren and Jason are RKC certified, and the Kettlebell class shows the members basic and advanced moves with the kettlebells. There are strength portions and cardio portions.

I love all these classes, I always leave drenched in sweat and feeling like I accomplished something. Jason and Lauren do really encourage the members to lift heavier and will always be there to help. I also love that they show the move that is supposed to be done, along with a modified version and an advanced version. It encourages members to go at their own pace but it doesn’t single someone out and make them feel uncomfortable that they are at a different pace.

Community

Photo via Achieve Fitness. Just another action packed MetCon class!

Photo via Achieve Fitness. Just another action packed MetCon class! (you can find me on the ropes)

We dreamed of creating an environment where your gym is comfortable and inviting. Where after each workout you feel empowered and excited by the progress you are making. A place where lifestyle changes happen naturally because of the community of like-minded individuals on the same journey.
via Achieve Fitness

I have never been a member of a gym like this, everyone is encouraging of one another. Members push other members in a positive way. For example, Lauren is starting a program to help members train for a Triathlon (Hyannis Sprint) however it is a few weeks before Zooma and I don’t want to end up injured. Within minutes of telling another member this, we pulled together a relay team, I could still participate with my Achieve family, and not worry of injuring myself, win.

They also have had some really fun activities, they had a couples competition recently (I am linking to the video because it is AMAZING), a workout to benefit the One Fund, in the future there will be a members potluck and the triathlon, and I am sure many more.

My Journey

Since my FMS score was lower than what Jason and Lauren would like for members in the Achieve classes, I used some of my one-on-one training sessions to bring my skills up to par and before I started taking classes, I worked out on my own, based on the plan Lauren had written out from me. Eventually I was able to participate in classes. Now I feel gross if I don’t make it to my usually classes. It is the best thing that I can do for myself, Achieve really helps me remain sane.

My core is definitely weakest and these exercises needed some serious improvement!

My core is definitely weakest and these exercises needed some serious improvement!

Now

I have noticed a huge difference in how my clothes fit, in how much I am lifting, in how I feel. Lauren graciously took some pictures for me so I can show you my progress.

Reverse Lunges with a 10k kettlebell

Reverse Lunges with a 10k kettlebell

 

TRX <3

TRX <3

Turkish Get Up - Proud Moment Photo!

Turkish Get Up with an 8k kettlebell – Proud Moment Photo!

Join & Follow

If you are interested in joining, but you are nervous or intimidated let me know, I will definitely be glad to introduce you to the team. You can also follow Achieve on twitter, facebook, and their blog.

Thankful for Blizzard 2013

I am sure if you read a fair amount of blogs from those who reside in New England, I am sure you have probably read more than you’d like about Blizzard 2013. So while, mine is also about the storm, it has a bit of a twist on how Massachusetts did some really great things this time around.

I am sure you’ve also heard that Governor Patrick put a driving ban on the state starting at 4 pm (and was not lifted for 24 hours), you could face up to a $500 fine and a year in jail. Based on my facebook and twitter feed, people were annoyed and didn’t get it. I’m assuming these are the same people that go out and drive in the storm and get stuck and waste emergency services to get back home.

We were all home on Friday, so we got to watch the snow fall like crazy, we went to bed Friday night, thankfully still with power, and prepared to lose power overnight. Luckily, that did not happen.

We decided to take B outside and see how he felt about the snow, and also clear off the steps from the driveway to the front door, luckily we have a plow guy for our driveway.

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This was right outside our garage door.

What we didn’t know was that our plow guy had already come once, at about 3 am. Crazy. B did not like being in the snow, so we went back inside to snuggle and watch movies while Nick shoveled.

We spent the rest of the day hanging out, baking, and waiting for our street to get plowed. Luckily that happened around 4 pm and our plow guy came back for a second round at about 7 pm.

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Bobcat with a plow

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Our driveway pile

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Front & side of the house

Unfortunately, I got a call from my dad on Saturday (during the ban) that my grandmother had a heart attack on Friday night. So many things had to happen in order for her to survive. This storm alone forced her to go to my aunt and uncles so she wouldn’t be home alone. My uncle knew the symptoms she was experiencing were that of a heart attack. Since no one was allowed on the roads, a plow truck showed up with an ambulance at my aunt and uncles and essentially cleared a path straight to the hospital.

I spent a lot of time at the hospital yesterday with her, and I am very thankful that all these things fell in place so that she could still be with us. This is just a reminder that near and far, family and friends that are like family are super important and we should make time for the ones we love.

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Love my family.

El Potro Mexican Bar & Grill!

About a month ago one of our good friends came to visit us. We had tickets for the Patriots vs. Broncos game that Sunday, so we decided to start the weekend early with a nice dinner out.

Our friend, Tom, wanted a mexican restaurant and I had recently been to El Potro with my friend Casey for a weeknight dinner. The food was delicious and authentic and the drinks were strong, so I thought it would be a great place for our dinner.

When we got there the tiny dining room was PACKED, it was a bit surprising since the last time I was there, there was only one other table with guests. We took the last table and as soon as I sat down I noticed that there was a mariachi band playing, it was awesome. They took requests, and of course Nick (always the musician) asks about the different instruments and then requests something upbeat. It was pretty awesome, albeit a bit loud.

We started with a round of house margaritas, and they were strong, I was driving and could barely drink a 1/3 of it.

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We also had chips and salsa, the salsa came in these cute little carafes so that you could refill the ramekin on your table.

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note: the salsa was also delicious and tasted extremely fresh

We decided to get an appetizer, one to balance out the extremely strong margarita and two because I wanted to try a variety of things.

We started with the Nachos with shredded beef ($9.00)
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The also had lettuce, tomato, beans, shredded cheese and sour cream drizzle. Now I am not one to usually pass up nachos, but these were beyond your average nachos.

Whenever I usually get nachos the meat is usually dry and I will add salsa to make it taste better. The beef on these nachos was shredded and perfectly succulent and juicy. How you think nachos should be. I also really loved the sour cream drizzle, I hate when the sour cream (and salsa for that matter) are in a huge lump on top ant its hard to dig the chip in.

For my meal I decided to give the grilled chicken fajitas a try.

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Um, holy cow, look at all that food. For $14.95 I got grilled chicken in the secret marinade over a huge bed of sautéed peppers and onions (I am pretty sure they were still cooking when they brought my plate to me). I also received, lettuce, pico de gallo, sour cream, rice, beans and guacamole on the side and obviously tortillas.

I made two fajitas while there, and had the leftovers for lunches for 2 more days.

Nick had the Tacos Chipotle with peppers & onions, I had that the first time I visited and it was so delicious but so spicy, and I can’t handle spicy that well, but I would get this 1000x over.

Tom had the Carne Asada and also raved about it.

Sorry for the no pictures, the boys dug in before I could get photos

The 802

This weekend Nick was at a conference so I took B for the first time to my home state of Vermont. I don’t really travel home a ton, I don’t have a room at either of my parents, or a ton of friends that still live there, so it is usually easier for my parents and siblings to visit me. But I decided to be adventurous and take a trip by myself.

I made a few observations while on this trip.

Massachusetts drivers really are idiots. Not all of them, but a good majority, once I got about 45 minutes out of the city it turns into a 2 lane road, when someone passes you they get back in the right lane. Also no one rides your tail in the right lane. Well, one person did, but shocker they had MA plates.

There is nothing to do. Literally nothing, I wanted to go buy some local to VT goodies for my foodie penpals but everything was closed after 6 on Saturday and all day on Sunday. Whoops.

Except you can buy beer and wine in the gas station.
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Vermont really is beautiful.

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Don’t worry I wasn’t driving

I will never move back. As beautiful as it is, there are a multitude of reasons that I could never go back there, visiting is enough for me.

First, these driveways

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Dear Sister – please find a house with a normal driveway, thanks!

Second, I am not really nostalgic for the past. High School, with a few exceptions, wasn’t one of the best times of my life. Frankly, I would like to forget a large chunk of it.

Third, the closest mall is an hour away, and it’s not even great.

Fourth, after living in the city, I realize that’s just much more my speed. I like having lots of culture around me.

There are many more personal reasons, these are just touching the surface.

Do you live in your hometown? Would you want to?

First postpartum race recap

On Sunday I ran the Ras na hEireann in Somerville. I was planning on running alone, but my friend ended up not feeling well so she ran with me instead of running at her usual speedy pace.

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The race was at 11, and frankly I just wasn’t prepared for how warm out it was going to be. This always catches me off guard, I am never prepared for warm weather. I can’t run in shorts. I just can’t do it. So I have an old pair of capri’s that don’t fit quite right, but they did the job, I wore just a tank but was planning on wearing a long sleeve tech tee, but decided not too last minute and felt self conscious the whole time.

Since I have spent the majority of my postpartum running inside my lungs definitely had to adjust. I felt like my lungs and my legs were finally in the groove after the first half mile. I took a walking break right before mile 2 and before mile 3. I regret them now but there is nothing I can do to change the past.

I thought I had a PR, but I went back and look at my old race times and my 2nd race is still my PR, from 2009. Goody. I think the only thing I can do from here is to register for more local races, get out there and run. While it is humiliating that people who are speed walking might pass me, and girls who are wearing jeans and flips flops might be ahead of me, I am doing my best. Although, in this moment of self-loathing, it’s hard to remember. Hopefully, I can get over it. Tomorrow I am doing cardio so I am hoping to run outside. Here goes nothing.

Also, I am super glad the race photographer got 0 photos of my, so the ones I am sharing are of the general course area.

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All photos courtesy of http://jimrhoades.com/12/rasna/