Weekend: This and That

Oh daylight savings, how I love thee. I know this morning was rough but how nice is it to have extra sunlight in the evenings? I taught at 4:30 yesterday afternoon and it was still light when the class let out! So wonderful.

Not in the mood to write a long post so here are just a few highlights of the weekend.

I went out of my way to get a nice wine for us to drink last week at a little wine shop right by Sangha. I spent 15 minutes talking with the wine people (are they considered sommeliers in wine shops or just restaurants?) I was told this would be perfect for our combined preferences of Pinot Noir (him) and Zinfandel (hers). We were sorely disappointed by this wine but the label was cute enough to share and aptly named, as some of this little troublemaker ended up on our couch.

troublemaker wine

Dinner with my friend Naina at the Beehive in the South End. I love that place, we’ve been at least 5 times! Probably should branch out and try some other restaurants in the neighborhood though.

Naina and Me

Mezze platter. Dip lovers dream. 7 dips on one plate!

mezze platter

We went to see a friend’s play.

The Lover Play

I did some yoga in our living room. Pincha mayurasana.

pincha mayurasana

Vrischikasana attempt. Still working on it.

Vrischikasana

We went on a 3.5 mile run an 8:29 pace. Then stopped in at Pavement Coffee while Eli waited patiently outside. Such a good boy.

Eli

Finally had a chance to take Michael to The Hawthorne for a drink and some nibbles.

bar nibbles

He hates this picture. I love it. I write the blog so I get to post it! 🙂

Michael

And with that, we’re back to Monday and everyone is pooped.

Eli napping under the table

Enjoy and Exhale!

Weekend Happenings

I find my weekend update posts the hardest to title. I wish I could think of something more clever.

This weekend flew by, like they usually do. We made more of an effort to get out and about, mostly because the weather cooperated. It was nice to get outside and enjoy the city.

However, Friday night we did our typical thing and stayed in. We made pizzas and a huge garbage salad with miso dressing, drank some wine and watched Dateline. I have a crazy fascination with who-done-it shows and Dateline is my favorite. Michael always obliges me in watching an episode on Friday nights. Now that’s true love. 🙂

pizza night

Saturday I taught and did some work. I also took a luxurious afternoon nap before we headed to Kristy and Erik’s for game night. They live in Somerville and it was our first time venturing out there.

We were greeted by their new rescue dog Tucker. He’s so loving and wonderful, the perfect addition to their family.

tucker tucker

We ate sushi and then set out to play some games. First up was a game called Dirty Minds, which turned out to be incredibly complicated. Kristy’s face pretty much sums up how all of us were feeling (what?!).

game night

Next we moved on to ImaginIff which was way easier and way more fun.

game night

Lastly we plated Uno. I used to play this all the time when I was a camp counselor in high school but it had definitely been a while. I still managed to call a few Uno’s on Michael though.

game night-Uno

After a later than usual night, yesterday morning we slept in and then made our way to the Friendly Toast in Cambridge for brunch. This might be my favorite restaurant in Boston. They have a ton of veggie friendly options and amazing gluten-free pancakes. Win-win for both of us.

Friendly Toast Menu

I had the BLT with faux bacon. I’m not much of a faux meats person but there’s something about Morning Star’s bacon. The sweet potato fries were also delicious. Michael had the chocolate chip pancake seen right and an unpictured scramble of some sort.

veggie blt and sweet potato fries

We left full and happy to hit up Whole Foods, spend way too much money at Target on nothing and take Eli for a bath.

Here he is in a brief moment of happiness, he does not like baths. You’d think he’s being tortured. I try to tell him how lucky he is to have two people basically massage him for 20 minutes. This doesn’t seem to matter to him.

Eli in the bath

We also went on a 5 mile run yesterday afternoon. We stopped and started a lot but our average pace was 8.29. Michael doesn’t usually run longer routes with me but he killed it and beat me handily on the sprints.

We rounded out the weekend with burrito bowls and some lounging and napping on the couch.

burrito bowls

Perfect end to our Sunday.

Back tomorrow with quinoa filled spring rolls.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Boston’s Winter Wonderland

Whew, that was a lot of snow.

Here are before and after shots of our car. This photo was taken around 4pm on Friday afternoon.

Before

This one around 10am Saturday morning. You can just see the top case of my scooter peeking out from behind the car.

After

As you can see, the storm was intense. Lots of wind and about 2 feet of snow in our neighborhood. We spent the evening inside watching Dexter and drinking wine as predicted. We did go out for a few minutes to let Eli run around in the blizzard, which was quickly followed by more sitting by the fire under a blanket.

Saturday we woke up and took an early morning walk.

Mass Ave Boston

This is Mass Ave, probably one of the busiest streets in the city, completely deserted except for us walkers.

Newbury Street

Here is Newbury, another busy street, without a single car.

Newbury Starbucks

Everything was shut down! No Starbucks for us. 😦

So the rest of Saturday was spent doing this.

Scrabble

Yep, a lot of U’s.

There was also lots of lounging.

Guy

The sun came out with a vengeance yesterday. Blue skies and warm temps. In the afternoon we set out for a much more enjoyable stroll around the city. Look at that sky!

Sledding

There were tons of families sledding in the Commons.

Playing in the snow

Eli was loving the snow, he’s waiting to chase a snowball here.

snow sculptures

This is some random guy building what looked to be cross between a lobster and a shark out of snow (in short sleeves!)

I have to hand it to New Englanders, they know how to make the best of the weather. There were people out running despite the snow filled sidewalks, plenty of cross-country skiers along the river and a huge group of kids making a gigantic fort in the park. Blizzards definitely make you appreciate the sunny days. Too bad it didn’t last, back to gray, cloudy and rainy today but there is a silver lining, a gluten-free blueberry muffin trial that worked!

Happy Monday.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Farewell to Football

I have come to dislike the Ravens A LOT! I care about three NFL teams and Baltimore beat all three of them in consecutive order leaving me feeling frustrated and sad. Okay, a little dramatic I admit. But we’re now so far away from football season, I would really like to have spent the next 6 months happy about the 49ers being so awesome. Oh well. Enough. I can see the virtual eye rolls from all you non-football fans. The silver lining is that with the end of football also comes the start of baseball and spring so not all is lost.

With no segue at all I’ll just move on to my weekend. Friday night I met a friend for drinks and snacks at a new-to-me bar called the Hawthorne. We got there early and managed to get a set of big, comfy chairs in the corner. I can’t say enough good things about this place. The service was stellar. The drinks were bubbly and cold. The food was tasty.

sparkling rose

We shared a hummus platter with veggies and potato chips and the pretzel rolls with honey mustard sauce. I love soft pretzels and these were soft, warm and accompanied by the perfect spicy mustard.

hummus platter pretzel rolls

I’ll definitely be back.

On Saturday morning I headed to All One to teach my Power Yoga class. That class is so fun to teach. There was a great crowd to heat up the room as we balanced, twisted and backbended our morning away. The collective sigh at the end of class when everyone peacefully surrendered into savasana filled me with certainty that I made the right decision to teach full-time. I’m really loving teaching and although I often tend to focus on what I don’t know, it’s good to remember that I have a lot to give in this very moment.

Saturday night I had my first opportunity to meet one of the friends I’ve made through blogging. Courtney over at Healthy Girl and the City was in town for the evening and we met up for a few hours. It was so nice to put a face and personality to the blog! Looking forward to more chances to meet my fellow bloggers.

Yesterday was all about football, duh!

Our friends came over for the game. For food, I made the typical Superbowl fare, mostly.

Southwestern Quinoa, 7-layer bean dip, guacamole and chips, veggies with vegan ranch, a vegan artichoke dip that was not good and will not be shared 🙂 and some gluten-free peanut butter cupcakes from my friend Nicole’s soon-to-be cookbook that were excellent. Hopefully when her cookbook is out later this year I’ll be able to share the recipe with you all.

Superbowl spread

Superbowl 2013

After the world’s longest game we crawled into bed to get ready for another week. Hello Monday!

Tomorrow, this smoothie that pretty much tastes like a chocolate milkshake.

chocolate banana smoothie

Enjoy and Exhale!

Works in Progress

I’ve made three recipes over the last few days. They are all good. Tasty. Consumed. But none of them made my taste buds do handstands and arm balances at first bite. My official taste tester was also less than impressed with one of the three recipes, he didn’t taste the other two. I believe his exact words were ‘it’s a little bland.’ I’m not going to share a little bland with you all.

But, because I still wanted to post something and say hello today I’ll share the works in progress. Not so secretly, I also wanted to show off my new camera which makes my bad photo skills a little more palatable. However I’m still hoping to find a Photography 101 class I can take over the next few months. I don’t think good equipment equates to stunning photos without some knowledge behind them.

On to the recipes or lack there of, I mentioned this beet quinoa salad yesterday. I liked the earthy mixture of the beets with the quinoa and I love the addition of slivered almonds. I also made a cashew garlic cream to go on top which was exceptional on it own. The salad just didn’t sing when everything was mixed together. It has potential and I have another beet waiting in the wings so I’ll work on it. The color is pretty fabulous though right?

beet quinoa salad

Next up, another calcium rich smoothie. Yep I’m making smoothies when it’s 10 degrees outside, God knows why. This smoothie was a mix of banana, apple, pineapple, almond milk and chia seeds. It was perfectly fine. I drank the whole thing this but it wasn’t amazing. I probably wouldn’t have shared it at all if not for the fact that the picture is nice. I’m going to try coconut milk instead of almond milk and may also add some sunflower seed or peanut butter. I’ll report back when I’ve got a winner.

Pineapple Banana Smoothie

Lastly, I tried to make gluten-free banana bread this morning. I wasn’t in the mood for dates so following my recipe for Banana Bread Muffins was out. The recipe I concocted seemed promising as I mixed the wet and dry ingredients separately. When I combine everything though it resembled something oddly familiar. This! It was by far the tastiest of the three recipes and I ate two slices for breakfast but this is not banana bread. It’s more of an oat loaf. It was lacking the airiness of bread with all its heaviness. I think I’ll play around with the flour mixture, maybe try my hand at some gluten-free baking flour that’s been sitting in my pantry since the pancake debacle of 2012.

Banana oat loaf

As you see, a lot of WIPs but not a lot of results. I suppose that’s all part of the process though. You have to cook a few duds or semi-duds to get to the really good stuff.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. It’s still supposed to be bitterly cold here again tonight. But never free, we have a hot date planned with our fireplace and a bottle of wine.

I’m also teaching a bunch this weekend. My usual classes tomorrow at 9 and 10:30 and then subbing Sunday at 9 at Crossfit and teaching a special community class at Athleta on Newbury at 10. The community class is free if you’re not busy.

Happy Friday.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Celebrating My Birthday Weekend

Oh what a lovely, long birthday weekend. Firstly, thank you for all the texts and comments and phone calls and Facebook posts. You all made this girl feel very, very loved.

This was probably the busiest weekend I’ve had in a really long time so I’ll just start at the beginning.

On Friday night my friend Kristy and her sister Kim hosted a ladies Bunco night. If you don’t know what Bunco is it’s a dice game that requires very little skill besides keeping score but is still super fun. I think there were 16 girls at Kim’s apartment and what started out timid and shy ended up rowdy and loud. It was amazing. I didn’t take any pictures of the ladies but I did take one of my losing score card which earned me a pile of loser gifts including some Mitt Romney toilet paper, a charm necklace from the 90210 era and a pear shaped candle!

Bunco Score Card

Saturday morning I woke up to the sound of the juicer. Michael woke up early to make me breakfast in bed before my classes. He made me a kale, cucumber, apple, carrot, ginger, lemon juice that was SO good. He may be my new official juice maker from here on out. He also made me a bagel with smashed avocado and tea accompanied by red roses. He’s a keeper.

Birthday Breakfast

I also opened one of my gifts that morning. These guys!

Patriots Tickets

I had to rush off to classes soon after presents and right after class I headed over to Back Bay Yoga for a teacher training. The training was a 12-hour workshop on how to teach Hip Hop Yoga. Although I don’t think I’ll be teaching Hip Hop Yoga specifically I learned a lot from the training. We did a lot of teaching with the wireless mic over loud music. It really helped me work on projecting my voice and how to teach with more energy which will be beneficial in my own classes. It’d been a while since I’d taken a training and it got the creative juices flowing again. Reminds me that I can’t get stagnant or complacent in my career, regardless of what that career is.

After training Michael took me out for a birthday dinner at the Top of the Hub. The restaurant is on the 52nd floor of the Prudential Building and overlooks all of Boston. We got a great window seat looking south. We ate in the lounge as they have a different, more veg friendly menu that catered better to me.

We started with cocktails. Wine for Michael and a vodka martini for me. I don’t drink a ton of martinis. I sort of burned myself out when living in Sacramento after college. My coworkers at the time were obsessed with them and got me hooked. But, it was a special occasion and I was starving so I wanted to eat the olives as an appetizer while we waited on the food. 🙂

Vodka Martini

My lovely date all dressed up.

Michael

City views.

Top of the Hub

Olives are great and all but our real appetizer was way better. Beet salad!

beet salad

I had the veggie burger with sweet potato fries, so predictable. Michael had a steak of some sort.

After dinner we decided to walk home but there was one more surprise stop. We had dessert at the Wine Cellar this adorable fondue place on Mass Ave. We had three different types of fondue with fruit and brownies and cake pieces for dipping. The perfect dessert.

chocolate fondue

Once home I opened my second gift which will benefit us all. Hello beautiful!

Nikon

Sunday was more training and then we headed to Foxborough for the Pats game. I was so excited that I didn’t even feel the cold until the second half when the Pats decided to stop playing football and let the Ravens run all over them. So depressing. I guess I’ll be a 49ers fan for the Superbowl now.

Pats game

The rest of the weekend isn’t really worth writing about especially since this post is getting wordy as it is.

Hope you all had a great long weekend.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Some Kind of Sunday

To start, I’d like to take a moment to remember all the innocent lives lost in Newtown on Friday. Healing and understanding of loss are such personal journeys and everyone grieves in their own way so I will not pretend that I can offer much guidance. However, I do believe in the power of collective voices. So I ask that as you move through your week, may you use your voice as an offering of love in a way that feels authentic to you: chant an Om, say a prayer, dedicate your practice, sing a song, say I love you, sign a petition for gun control, offer light and hope to those around you, especially as we head into this week before Christmas. It might not seem like much but who are we to say that adding a little compassion to the world won’t help?

candles

[Photo Source]

It’s cold and gray here, if not a little bit lonely too. Michael left for South Africa yesterday for work and will be enjoying some 90 degree weather, leaving me and the boys to freeze our tails off. Determined not to let the cold weather get me down I took Eli out for an early 3.5 mile run this morning. We went very slow in comparison to last weekend, part of that was definitely due to the chill, the other to a dog that felt compelled to sniff every tree as we went along. I try not to get too attached to the pace of my runs, many times not even tracking, but sometimes I’m bringing my phone along in hopes of a good photo opportunity anyway so why not Map My Run while I’m at it?

Regardless, here are the stats, if you’re interested that sort of thing.

Map My Run Sunday

When we got back I drank the hottest tea I could muster and searched fruitlessly for recipes to try this week.

I was hoping a new recipe would kick the ugly habits I’ve reacquired from my bachelorette days since Michael’s been gone. I’ve had two back-to-back meals of tomato, basil, cheddar paninis, read countless magazines and watched one very awful Lifetime movie. Michael puts up with a lot of bad TV but Lifetime movies are not tolerated. This was my chance to watch movies like Finding Christmas Eve Under the Mistletoe and Very Merry Holiday Love. I made both those titles up but you get the point. They’re so bad but so addicting. Ladies you feel me right?

I suppose this is my round about way of saying I don’t have a recipe to share. But I can tell you that Dr. Oz highly recommends that getting more calcium be on your new year’s resolution list, that Haylie Duff is not a very good actor and that it is possible to waste an entire afternoon browsing food blogs!

I sincerely hope that you are enjoying your weekend and that it’s been a bit more productive than mine.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Weekend Update

I know today wasn’t a holiday for many people but they take Columbus pretty seriously in New England so we had a nice 3 day weekend here in these parts.

The weather was a sort of mixed bag. It was 80 and beautiful on Saturday and by Sunday it was 60 and rainy. We made the most of it regardless.

Friday night looked a lot like this.

Wii bowling!

And Michael looking shocked that I’d won 2 in a row. In his defense I’m not usually this lucky.

Saturday we explored Boston by foot. We had brunch in the South End at a place called El Centro. The service was pretty sub par but the food more than made up for it. I had a veggie quesadilla and Michael had the huevos. We shared a side of guac.

After lunch we walked.

North End

Old men playing bocce.

Cute street in Beacon Hill.

Some PDA.

Beautiful fall colors.

On Sunday we went to the Patriots Broncos game! I’ve been a Patriots fan since even before moving to Boston (don’t ask) and Michael is from Colorado so this game was extra special for us. We scored some really great seats. I’m pretty sure it’s the closest to Brady I’m ever going to get 🙂

 

Patriots win! Too bad Manning.

Tomorrow a recipe and a recap of today’s race.

Happy Monday.