my butt better look good in a bikini

So I’ve been on a bit of an athletic kick lately. More like an, I finally found some workout clothes that hide my cellulite and I’m rejoicing by sweatin’ to the oldies like a wildebeest, kick. Same difference.
Accordingly, I spent the majority of this weekend being active.  It was awesome, but if I don’t have a Brazilian model’s butt by the time bikini season rolls around I might have a nervous breakdown. Kidding, sort of.
Last week was rough and by Friday afternoon I was in a craptastic mood.  I needed some cheering up and some time for myself so I signed up for an hour and a half class at Back Bay Yoga. It was a Vinyasa class, was awesome and got me out of my funk.
I was happy to go to bed lighter because I woke up bright and early on Saturday morning for a winter adventure with my girlfriends from law school.  We had decided to do something different and since none of us are great skiers and one of us (cough cough, me) has cadaver where her ACL should be, we opted for a more low key winter sport–snowshoeing.  There’s a cross country (aka Nordic) skiing and snowshoe track in Weston, aptly named the Weston Ski Track, which is only a few minutes outside of Boston.  We piled into the car with enough gear for a weekend in the mountains and drove 15 minutes to a golf course covered in snow.  Literally.
We snowshoed our way along the Coyote Trail, which was thankfully lacking in coyotes.  Snowshoeing is a loud activity, with all of the crunching of snow, but we’re a loud bunch and were able to catch up telling stories and laughing and likely annoying anyone who was out there for a peaceful day on the track. I also invented snowshoe yoga (patent pending).

By Saturday evening my legs were aching so I turned in early because Sunday was another early day of exercise!
I’ve posted about Sweetgreen Passport classes that my friend Lisa and I greedily sign up for every time a new one comes out.  Sunday was no exception, as we joined 6 other people for a free yoga class at OMBE Yoga in Back Bay.  I’d never been there and the class was great. The instructor helped me get into my first wheel pose, which was super exciting.  Since then I’ve done it once in another class–go me!  It turns out a wheel pose is just like those back bends we used to go in elementary school, just slower, because now we’re old and things don’t bend how they used to.
After class, Rachel, our Sweetgreen ambassador took us back to the restaurant for soup samples and embarrassing photos.  Search Twitter for one of me looking souper (haha, get it?) awkward holding up soup for a picture.

I took advantage of being at Sweetgreen to have my first and last salad of the month.  I keep trying but they’re just not my thing–unless they’re at Sweetgreen.  I chowed down on the Chic P salad, which was amazeballs. Yes, this is what I look like while eating salad and why I’d never order one on a date. That, and because dudes like girls who eat burgers…and because I like burgers.

In continuation of my weekend of moving around, I walked to Cambridge for my intramural volleyball league then played 8 games of volleyball.  My arms are bruised and my legs are sore but I think we won some games (apparently we keep score?).   And now I’m beat.  

weekend wrapup: surprise!

I hate surprises. Hate, hate, hate surprises…unless I’m surprising someone else.  Then I love them.
As I mentioned in my last post, last week was my Mom’s birthday.  This past year has been tough.  Between injuries and job stress and sickness and me moving away, my poor Mom has been put through the wringer.  Naturally, I wanted her to have the best birthday ever so I conspired with my father, brother, and sister-in-law for me to fly back to New Jersey and surprise my Mom!
We had to be super secretive about it though.  My Mom is one of those people who can smell a lie from miles away. That, coupled with our close relationship, made it nearly impossible to keep this from her. In the weeks leading up to the surprise I’d find myself silently freaking out.
Every time she told me of her birthday plans, I died a little inside.  It was killing me not to be able to tell her that I would be there for the weekend.
Until I realized how much fun it could be.  The last week, I spent time on the phone with my Mom lamenting about how sad I was that I couldn’t be there.  I sent her a birthday card to get there on her birthday and told her that her present was on the way.  I begged her to have a bite of my brothers veal parmesan for me during her birthday dinner and promise to FaceTime me in when she blew out her candles.
When my dad picked me up at the airport, he called her to tell her he was on the way home from his meeting.  Then, 5 minutes later I called to tell her I was out of work and going home.  At this point my Mom was at a friends house so we hightailed it there and rang the doorbell.  My Mom was on the phone in the kitchen so I went in, with a stick on bow on my forehead and said,
If you heard what you thought was a hyena screech at around 5:15pm on Friday, that was my Mom, getting an awesome surprise.
The rest of the weekend was full of retelling the story to anyone within earshot, relaxing with family, eating way too much food, and cuddling with the Birthday Girl.  
How was your weekend?

the best part of your day

Last night I went to a yoga class.  The instructor walked in and proudly said, “Welcome to the best part of your day!”.  I brushed it off and the class started.  The various poses challenged me, made me feel strong and accomplished, and left me with an excuse to chow down on meatloaf when I got home.
Too many hours later, when I finally dragged my sweaty self into the shower, I thought back on what my yoga instructor had said.  My shower is my thinking place (which is quite unfortunate when I come up with genius blog ideas and can’t write them down) and I stood there with the hot water beating down on my sore body, I realized she was right.  It WAS the best part of my day.  Reflecting back on it made me happy and fulfilled and relaxed.  But you don’t have to be a yogi (or a woman who picked up yoga as an excuse to wear $80 Lululemon yoga pants) to feel this way.
At the risk of sounding like a Kool-Aid-chugging, inspirational-quote-posting-internet-weirdo, last night I learned something.  It’s important to take the time to reflect on each day and pick out the best thing that happened to you.  Maybe it was a win at work; an awesome meal you prepared; catching up with a loved one; or the fact that you were in an awful mood and managed not to kill someone; but everyday we should find whatever it was that was the best part of our day and reflect on that.
…and now I realize that I have become that person who pukes rainbows.  Who am I?!

Also, today is my Mom’s birthday, which undoubtedly makes it an awesome day!  Happy Birthday, Mom–I love you!

how to be awesome on a budget

Whether you’re underpaid at work or just broke from the holidays, that doesn’t mean that you have to sit at home and eat ramen this winter.  Although some people would consider that totally awesome, it’s nice to get out once in a while, but it can be hard on a budget.  Naturally, I came up with a list of how I manage to have an awesome life while mostly sticking to a budget.

Get out of the house

The winter is cold and long but it doesn’t get any shorter by staying inside and you won’t feel awesome staying at home.  Go for a walk, experience new things, and just get out there!  You never know what you’ll find.

Surf the internet

Ironically almost the polar opposite of the previous point, but you can also do this outside of the house (at a coffee shop, perhaps!).  Websites like Facebook and Twitter are great resources for things going on in your area.  Local websites like Wicked Cheap Boston and Boston on a Budget have posts about great deals in and around Boston and there’s bound to be something similar in your city!  
I’ve been going to free fitness classes courtesy of Sweetgreen Passport, a movement to get people moving and shaking for free in 2014!  So far I’ve been to 4 of these free fitness classes, including a boxing class.  Molly at Wicked Cheap Boston just posted about these too!

Plan ahead

Make plans with friends in advance.  A couple weekends ago I went to Body Worlds Vital in Faneuil Hall with my fellow blogger buddies Kate, Jodi, and Rachel.  I got the tickets in advance so it wasn’t a super expensive day.
Making plans in advance means that you don’t feel the burn of activities on your wallet at once.  That Lady Antebellum concert that I wouldn’t spend $60 on now that I’m broke?  Thankfully, I already got tickets months ago before some unexpected expenses and what do you know–I now have a free event to go to tomorrow night with Kate and Jodi because I’ve already paid for it!

Find hobbies

Some hobbies are expensive, there are plenty that can be a ton of cheap fun!  I recently joined Social Boston Sports indoor volleyball league with people from my summer Waka kickball league.  At first, I balked at the $90 registration fee and then I did the math.  Breaking down $90 over 6 weeks is only $15/week, which is less than 2 lunches out at work.  Not to mention, you get 2 hours of playing time, unlimited laughs, and new friends. Get out there, bring your lunch to work and spend the money getting fit with awesome people who might be your new best friends!

Be consistent

Follow through is important in life.  If you sign up for events, go.  No one likes a flake and if you don’t follow through, you’ll lose invitations to awesome things.  Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but try to always follow through with what you say you’re going to do. Having a bad day and don’t want to go? Maybe your day will turn around!  Follow through with what you say you’re going to do in life and you’ll open doors.

Last night I attended a Cupcakes and Cocktails event with Blog and Tweet Boston at the Boston Center for Adult Education.  It sold out within hours and due to high demand, the organizer was inviting only people who hadn’t cancelled on a previous event.  I had a great time baking cupcakes and making new blogger friends!  Bonus: I got this adorable cupcake carrier and delicious cupcakes to take home!


Professional, blogger, or personal.  Some times it might be a miss, but it’ll all be worth it when you make those few, or even one, connection that changes your life.  If all else fails, you’ll at least end up with some good stories.  Not to mention these events are often free.  If they’re not, there will usually be some free food or drinks!

Be a regular

If you really need that Starbucks, get a value card so you can earn points.  Reward your spending with frequent flyer miles or reward points to get free stuff.  If you like going to bars (who me?), become a regular.  Bartenders don’t give free drinks to strangers!

weekend wrapup: painting blate

This weekend I did nothing, except for the awesome blate that I had on Friday night.  I was still fighting my cold but rallied to meet Jodi, Rachel, and Lauren at The Paint Bar on Newbury.  I had already met Jodi but it was my first time meeting Rachel and Lauren and they’re just as sweet as their blogs predict.

We got ourselves set up in front of super intimidating blank canvasses in a crowded room, bought some drinks (because what’s a blate without drinks?) and got ready for painting.

Thankfully, our super friendly owner painter Jackie showed step by step how to turn our blank canvasses into works of art.  I might be creative but there’s not one artistic bone in my body, or so I thought.  Jackie turned me into a regular Monet. 

I was nervous that my painting would totally suck.  I tend not to get too unhappy at things that I do poorly, which works out for me, because there are only so many things at which a person can excel.   You see see how seriously I was taking the painting in the above picture. So I was perfectly content on having something that looked like a 2 year old went to town on.  
Fortunately, Jackie’s awesome instructions, including saying things like “swoop” and “if you feel uncomfortable with the amount of paint on your brush, add more!” put me at ease and made this painting totally idiot proof.  I don’t know how she does it, but she’s a genius.
The four of us had an awesome time and all ended up with works of art to bring home.  Can’t wait for our next blate!