Happy New Year!

It’s a bit belated, but in the spirit of the New Year I wanted to do a quick post with updates on some exciting things that happened at the end of 2013 (the reason my posts on this blog have been so sporadic) and my resolutions for 2014.

First the Updates:

1. I started a new job in October 2013, as a Senior Consultant in Business Planning at Partners Healthcare. Some of you may know that up until October 2012 I was working at a start up in healthcare IT. The start up sold (a good thing for the company) and I tried to give the new company a chance but ultimately it just wasn’t for me. I spent months interviewing for what seemed like my dream job, and after a lengthy process was finally hired (yay)! Career wise it’s a great opportunity with tons of potential and I’m sure I made the right decision.

2. Also in October, we adopted an adorable pomeranian puppy Louis (short for LV, obviously)! He’s six months old, and almost full grown at 7 lbs. I absolutely love him, he is sooo cute, and has such a great personality! If you follow me on twitter or facebook you’ve probably seen some of these pics.

LouisCollage3. I’m moving back to Boston! The bf and I are moving to Southie (sometime in Feb or Mar). We found an amazing condo about 1/2 mile from Andrew Square that has everything we were looking for. This will be the third move in the past two years, so I’m glad to have finally found a place that will be at least semi-permanent.

4. I’m working on two exciting projects I can’t describe in detail right now, but I’m hoping they both gain some traction in 2014. More to come (hopefully!) later this year.

Now the resolutions:

Losing weight is always on my list, and I’ve tried just about every fad diet out there. I know this is not healthy or sustainable so this year I’ve decided to try something different. Through blogging I’ve met a lot of great people including some health and wellness experts. While they all have different programs and perspectives, there is one point they all seem to agree with. Diets and counting calories don’t work. What’s most important is balancing exercise with eating natural, whole foods, and paying attention to how your body feels. I’ve been reading Kendall’s tips for a #KendallClean life this January, and her advice seems to resonate the most with me. You should definitely check her out!

My resolutions specifically around weight loss are:

1. Unless I have specific plans to go out to dinner, cook every meal at home (and as much as possible cook from scratch). No more takeout, fast food, or cafeteria at work.

2. Do grocery shopping every Sunday, and meal prep for the week as much as possible as soon as I get home.

3. Do at least three workouts a week that are a mix of cardio and strength training. I’ve been working out with my amazing trainer Celeste for about six weeks now. She trains me once a week (aka kicks my butt) and gives me homework for two more days during the week. I plan to continue in 2014, and just need to find a new gym and routine when I move to Southie (I will miss the convenience of a gym in the building).

4. Use this blog as I originally intended; a place to write regularly about my progress toward health and fitness goals.

Other Resolutions:

1. Six months of living expenses in savings by the end of the year (buying the condo made a serious dent in the savings I had)

2. Organize my pictures and books – I completed this last weekend! I put all of my loose pictures in albums, and bought a bookshelf specifically for cookbooks and food-related books (this took care of all of the books stacked up on the floor in my den).

3. Write at least one article or blog post for a source other than the blogs I currently maintain (or am a contributor).

This is the first time I’ve ever posted resolutions for all the world (internet to see). I hope this year it makes me more accountable!

What are your new year’s resolutions?

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Urban Art Bar

Last week Blog and Tweet Boston headed to Southie for a fun night of painting and socializing at Urban Art Bar!

Urban Art Bar, which recently celebrated it’s one year anniversary, was founded by Southie resident Heather Carbone who wanted to combine her musical prowess, her love for all forms of art and the presence of popular contemporary music to create a socially entertaining atmosphere for all to thrive in. Many of the paintings have a local theme, including ours: Daytime Skyline.

skyline_day-web

We started with some cocktails and some tasty apps catered from a local restaurant (they work with several in the area). My favorite of the cocktails was the ginger rose, made with strawberry flavored liquor and ginger ale.

cocktail drinkspecials

After our social hour, we were lucky enough to grab a prime table right up front. Our Instructor Renee was great! I was a little worried because I’m not an artist, but her step by step instructions were pretty fool proof. She kept the pace just right for our class and made sure to stop by and check in on each of us after each of the major steps.

Here’s a look at how my painting progressed throughout the night:

WIP1 WIP2
WIP3 WIP4

And our group’s final product:

group

We had a great time, and it’s definitely something I’d do again for a fun night out with friends or a special occasion like a birthday party or bachelorette!

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Cerulean Blu, Blush Tanning, and Healthy Chicks with Blog and Tweet Boston

A couple of weeks ago I attended a Blog and Tweet Boston Event designed to get you looking and feeling your best for summer! The timing was perfect, since my trip to West Palm Beach was just a few days later.

The event took place at Cerulean Blu, a Newbury Street shop specializing in swim and resort wear. Owner Desiree discussed the concept behind the store – a judgement free, spa like atmosphere, free of fluorescent lights and unflattering styles, where you can go to find the perfect suit for your body type. There was even a fashion show with real girls wearing suits from the store, each with a target problem area. The suits definitely did their job because I thought they all looked amazing! I went back a few days later to try on a suit they’d recommended.

Of course they were spot on and I had to get it for my trip! The neckline is very flattering, drawing attention up and away from problem areas. The high cut bottom lengthens legs, and textured body camouflages the stomach. I even found the perfect matching accessories, for a complete outfit!

outfit suit

They had tons of other cute stuff, and I had a hard time not buying a whole new summer wardrobe!

sandals

clothes  sunglasses

We also had a great talk on body image by Rachel, the founder of Healthy Chicks.  Rachel is a certified Health Coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She had some really good tips for us on how to pay attention to your body and focus on how foods make you feel rather than the calorie count.

Rachel

We finished with a demonstration from Blush Airbrush Tanning, in their mobile spray tan unit. I was lucky enough to be picked for the demonstration (the only time I’ve been glad for my impossible to tan, porcelain complexion)! I tried the partial tan on my arms, neck, and face. It looked so natural, I booked an appointment at the Wellesley salon just a couple of days later to get ready for my trip!

booth colors decoration products

Blush, founded by Christina Kauffman, uses products designed for them by Aviva Labs, which are safe and natural. They are fragrance and oil free as well as hypoallergenic, which means they won’t irritate or dry out your skin or clog your pores.

There are a wide range of colors available, so you can go as light or as dark as you’d like. There are also formulas available with varying times to dry, so if you’re in a rush you can be ready to shower or hit the gym in as little as 30 minutes.

I tried the standard which takes about eight hours to dry, and just wore loose clothing for the rest of the day. At the end of the eight hours, I rinsed off in the shower and I was good to go.

My tan looked great and lasted about a week, although I may be the only person to come back from vacation less tan than when I left. I booked a second appointment this week so I can maintain my glow for the rest of the summer!

 

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Studio Empower Review

I recently hosted a Blog and Tweet Boston Event at the Studio Empower in Newton, a brand new Pilates Reformer studio that just opened earlier this spring. Having never been to a Pilates Reformer class before, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I was envisioning something like Pilates, challenging but not too intense… man, was I wrong!

Panaramic View of Studio

The classes at Studio Empower are based on the Lagree Fitness Method, which is often referred to as the most innovative and agressive approach to full body conditioning.

machines

Using these machines, we worked both our upper and lower body with a series of poses held for 1-2 minutes each. Resistance is easily adjusted to make each move more or less difficult, and core muscles remain engaged throughout the entire workout.

By the end of the class I was really sweating, and though I left feeling like I’d had a great full body workout it wasn’t until a few days later, when my arms and legs were STILL sore, that I realized just how great!

With the convenient Newton Center location just a short drive from my apartment, I will definitely be back!

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Blog and Tweet Boston Event at Cerulean Blu

If you’re like me,  thought of trying on a bathing suit may stress you out… but it doesn’t have to!

signs

Join Blog and Tweet Boston Wednesday August 7th at 7pm for an upcoming event at the newly opened Cerulean Blu Swim & Resort Wear Boutique on Newbury Street to for great tips on selecting swimwear that’s right for you! Cerulean Blu offers a wide variety of suits that are both stylish and flattering for every body type, along with expert staff to help find the option that looks great and makes you feel comfortable.

suits

Additional highlights will include a body image discussion by Rachel from Healthy Chicks, and light refreshments will be served.

Interested bloggers should request an invite in one of the following ways:

1 Follow @BlogAndTweetBos on Twitter and DM us your email address

2 Join our Facebook group and leave a comment sharing your email address

When you share your email address requesting an invitation, you are agreeing to join the Blog and Tweet Boston email list, where we’ll periodically alert you of new events. Blog and Tweet Boston is a group I co-founded that connects bloggers and local businesses through fun events. If you have a business and are interested in holding a blogger event email us at blogandtweetboston at gmail.com to get in touch.

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Blog and Tweet Boston Event at Studio Empower

Get ready to feel empowered!

IMG-20130122-00108

Our next Blog and Tweet Boston event is a unique opportunity for fitness and wellness bloggers. The recently opened Studio Empower in Newton is offering ten bloggers a chance to try this innovative new workout, designed by LA Celebrity Trainer and Sebastien Lagree.

Join us Sat 8/3 at 10 AM for a complimentary blogger class.

This total body workout is specifically designed to strengthen, tighten, and tone the body quickly and safely. The method is largely based on the holistic principles of Pilates, but also emphasizes the strength training and cardio elements not inherent to Pilates to achieve muscle definition faster than traditional Pilates and/or weight training alone.

Panaramic View of Studio

By incorporating the key principles of core stability and blending them with the fusion of muscle dynamics, Lagree Fitness™ is the next evolution in physical fitness. Simply put, is the most innovative and aggressive approach to full body conditioning.  Lagree Fitness™ integrates the key elements of resistance and counter resistance in a sequence that allows for periods of zero gravity at peak muscle contraction. The workout strengthens the body, tones and elongates the muscles, improves endurance, jump-starts the metabolism, burns fat, increases flexibility and postural alignment, and restores the body’s natural balance.  The composition of this method is significant in that it encourages maximum exertion, while allowing for a low risk of injury. This sequence also promotes flexibility and elasticity. The client, at conclusion, is left with a lithe and powerful body resistant to the everyday stresses of work and life.

Space is VERY limited due to the small, personalized nature of the studio. Interested bloggers should request an invite in one of the following ways:

1 Follow @BlogAndTweetBos on Twitter and DM us your email address

2 Join our Facebook group and leave a comment sharing your email address

When you share your email address requesting an invitation, you are agreeing to join the Blog and Tweet Boston email list, where we’ll periodically alert you of new events. Blog and Tweet Boston is a group I co-founded that connects bloggers and local businesses through fun events. If you have a business and are interested in holding a blogger event email us to get in touch.

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B12 Shots at Delete Tattoo

I recently attended a Blog and Tweet Boston event at the newly opened Delete Tattoo and Laser Spa on Newbury street. Although Delete is primarily laser tattoo removal, they offer a variety of nutrient infusions and injections.Bloggers had the opportunity to try complimentary B12 shots (normally priced at $25) and discounted nutrient infusions (normally priced at $100).

To be completely honest, if I wasn’t involved in the planning I wouldn’t have come to this event. I have a phobia of needles and have been known to cry or pass out at the site of one! But, after checking out the salon, seeing how clean everything was, and chatting with the nurse who administers the shot I decided to be brave and give it a try. If 7 other bloggers were going to try it, how bad could it possibly be?

It wasn’t bad at all… I barely felt the needle, and the shot didn’t last more than a few seconds. I had been feeling tired and run down all week, and within just a few minutes I felt an instant energy boost! I’d even consider going back for the twice a week “skinny” injection, a fat burner which combined with exercise stimulates weight loss.

DeleteGroup

Blog and Tweet Boston is a group I co-founded that connects bloggers and local businesses through fun events. If you have a business and are interested in holding a blogger event, email us to get in touch.

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