For the 4th, we headed up to Vermont to spend time with family and take advantage of the beautiful lake and mountains. We spent the days outside, soaking in the vitamin D!
I did a pretty good job of following my own tips for staying healthy on the 4th of July. I enjoyed myself but didn’t overdo it too much! I went on long walks or ran every day which was a huge accomplishment! However, I am on a serious kick to get back in shape, clean up my diet and feel better about myself because things have gotten a little out of control…
It was Emerson’s first time on a boat. She did great, except really wanted to run around, which just isn’t possible!
Every July 3rd, the locals put on a firework show on the lake. We all go out on the boats and watch the show from the water. It is such a fun tradition.
My mom and Emerson had matching shirts on. My mom was super excited!
Vinnie and I met up with some friends and went strawberry picking. Emerson LOVED the strawberries. They were super fresh and juicy. I can’t remember if I have ever been strawberry picking but it was really fun and family friendly. And cheap! I love apple picking in the fall but it’s always so expensive for a bag. We got 2 large pints of strawberries for $4.50… score! 🙂
To me, the 4th of July marks the height of Summer. A chance to spend time on the lake, soak up the sun and be surrounded by family and friends. It also means lots of day drinking, BBQing and treats. It is easy to fall off your normal schedule and throw caution to the wind. There is nothing wrong with that! But, if you want to try and have a balanced weekend where you have fun, enjoy some treats and cocktails but don’t totally sabotage all the hard work you’ve done, below are 5 tips to feeling good this 4th of July.
1. Drink water.
On the 4th, typically you are out in the sun, lounging by the water which makes is easy to get dehydrated so it’s extra important to drink water. My dad always says, “One drink. One water.” That’s how you can last all night, and feel good in the morning. I try to stick to this as much as I can, especially on weekends were we are drinking and celebrating a lot. Staying hydrated also helps to keep you feeling full, debloated and looking bikini ready.
2. Eat a good breakfast with lots of protein and fat.
The food you eat first thing in the morning typically sets the ton for the day. I find if I have a bagel, I want sugar and carbs all day. If I just eat fruit, I am hungry in an hour. Since there will be a lot of process foods, sugar and BBQ treats around all day, try to start your day with a good breakfast that is high in protein and fats. I love having scrambled eggs and avocado with a side of strawberry or watermelon.
3. Make sure to eat a meal.
Don’t snack through meals. Often times, especially on long weekends or holiday’s I find myself snacking a ton and then I’m like, “I just ate so many chips and cookies, I don’t need lunch.” So I skip it. But then 2 hours later, I am hungry and start snacking again and end up eating way more calories, way worse food, and feeling shitty. Whereas, if I just sat down and made myself a big salad or light sandwich with healthy fats, protein and carbs I would be so much more satisfied.
4. Move your body.
Don’t stress too much about getting a killer workout in, but try to move your body at least for 30 minutes (preferably in the morning). I find that when you move, you feel better about yourself, you feel lighter and it helps you make better decisions through out the day.
5. Don’t over think it.
Sometimes we can get so caught up in “staying on track” that it is all we can think about but that makes it so much worse. Not only does it make it hard to enjoy yourself, it makes you feel guilty every time you have something “you shouldn’t”. And then you just say “F* IT” and dig into the treats making you feel more guilty, bloated and discouraged. Try to avoid this cycle. Enjoy yourself, let go of all the pressure you put on yourself and spend time with family and friends (preferably on the water, and not around the snack table!!)
I hope this helps! Remember to have a fun 4th of July and enjoy yourself.
What are some tips you are going to try to practice this 4th of July?
As with most years, we spent Thanksgiving in Vermont with lots of family. I honestly didn’t take many pictures as I was trying to be present and enjoy the time with each other. Although we did eat multiple Thanksgiving meals…
On Tuesday before Thanksgiving Vinnie and I hosted my family and our apartment because it was the only day all of us would be together. Julia flew out on Wednesday to go ski in Europe.
On Wednesday we drove to Vermont.
On Thursday we ate Thanksgiving with Vinnie’s family and then walk down the hill to my aunts house and had another Thanksgiving with my side of the family.
On Friday we vegged and ate leftovers.
On Saturday and Sunday we went to Killington and watch the F I S World Cup for alpine women’s ski racing. This was a huge moment in Vermont and New England ski racing. So many people showed up to cheer on the best in the world and it was incredibly exciting to be there and a part of the historic event. Over the two days of the event, there were over 30,000 spectators in attendance. That’s incredible!
There were mobs of people walking up the access rode to watch the race.
The spectators piled in. No one cared about the cold, rain, fog or snow. They were all there to cheer on the ski racers and take in the moment.
We brought Emerson along for all the fun. She was such a trooper. She brave the crowds, the noise, and the weather like a champ.
My brother hooked us up with VIP tickets so I was able to bring Emerson out of the crowds and into the warmth much easier. I still had to nurse her in public because there was no privacy to be found. Emerson was very distracted by all the commotion!
It was a great weekend with so much family time. It made it really hard to go back to work but it’s also nice to get back into a routine. This holiday season is going to be busy with lots of holiday parties and celebrations. This weekend definitely a great kick off!
During the day, Daycare did a parade through our office so all employees could see the cute kids in their costumes. The infants were strapped into this awesome wagon-like thing that had seats. It was so cute! Emerson loved seeing all the people in the office and was super smiley.
Emerson was a pumpkin! I went back and forth about whether or not I should buy her a “real” costume. I opted not to spend the $$ and put her in a onsie we already had with a hat my aunt made and it was perfect!
After work, I headed to Charlestown for more Halloween shenanigans. I am part of the Charlestown Mother’s Association and during maternity leave would go for walks with all the moms that had babies around Emerson’s age. There are so many moms!! We made sure to take a picture all of the babies in their costume. It was adorable!
Family photo with our little pumpkin!
Lots of family came down to celebrate Emerson’s first Halloween. It was a beautiful night! I am already looking forward to next year when Emerson will actually be able to walk around and trick or treat.
This is my favorite photo and I just had to share!
I hope everyone had a fabulous Labor Day Weekend!! We had so much fun up in Vermont with our family and friends. We floated around on the lake, went for a few nice VT walks and ate incredible local food.
We also drank a little too much and ate way too many chips and treats. But, that’s what the Holiday weekend is all about, right!?
I tried really hard to stick to my Elimination Diet that I started earlier in the week. I would give myself a grade of a B. I did a really good job in the beginning but as the weekend dragged on and my “gluten free, diary free” food dwindled, I started to snack on un-approved food. But, the biggest win for me was that I did not sip beer at all! This was so hard, because I love beer. I always steal sips of everyone’s beer because I want to try them all and I did not do that once. Yea, me! Now I just need to figure out the food thing too.
Below are some snap shots from our very fun filled weekend. What was the highlight of your LDW!?
I hope every one had a great holiday and a Happy Easter.
Both our families spend Holiday’s in Vermont so it’s fun to see and enjoy time with everyone but it requires Vinnie and I bouncing between the two families and eating multiple meals!
This Easter, we stayed up at my grandparents house to have an agnostic place where neither one of our families felt left out. It was nice to have our own place to go home to and not have to feel guilty about spending too much time with one side of the family over the other.
On Easter morning, we had a family ski day! We had a big crew of people together! The weather was beautiful and the snow was surprising great!
Around noon, Vinnie and I rushed over to my aunts house for brunch. We ate salad and quiche, shot nurf guns, had an Easter egg hunt, and played wiffle ball. It was super fun and active!
We had to rush out after one inning of wiffle ball to get to Vinnie’s house for our first Easter dinner with his family. We had a delicious fresh ham, artichoke, potatoes and green beans.
I ate SO many jelly beans and chocolate, ALL DAY!
Around 7, we headed down to my aunt Wendy’s house for our second Easter dinner. There was so much delicious food I couldn’t help but eat again.
I ended up eating so much, I made myself sick. I think it was a combo of all the food, but also my IBS definitely flared up. I was in a lot of pain, was really flushed and had a skin rash appear on my arms and face. I think I am going to try to do the Elimination Diet or follow FODMAPs. Has anyone ever done either of these? I just really need to figure something out, because I can’t live with the pain and sickness.
All and all, it was an amazing weekend with family and friends.
Today was my first day of work in 2015 and before I jump wholeheartedly into the new year, I want to take a second to reflect on 2014 and all the wonderful events in my life. 2014 was a huge year with giant milestones for me and my family. My sister competed in the Sochi Olympics, I ran the Boston marathon and got married!
I think the best way to recap the year is through pictures. Below are pictures from each month that best illustrate the highlights from my 2014.
May was packed full of fun things that are not pictured including going to a Bruins playoff game, helping organize a gala for the Kelly Brush Foundation and celebrating Mother’s Day with my entire family at my grandparents house!
Celebrating my best-friend Blair’s wedding and my pool party themed bridal shower!
Vinnie and I got MARRIED!
It’s been a GREAT year. Now it’s time to CHARGE into 2015!
I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and enjoyed the Holiday’s with your families! I have really enjoyed spending some extra quality time with my family and made it a point to relax and disconnect for a little while. I am feeling re-energized and motivated to take on this last week of 2014 and charge into 2015!
The past week or so has been a crazy whirlwind of family, fun, eating, celebrating, traveling and chillen! I have not been very good at fitting in my workout and I am trying really hard not to let it get to me. But, I NEED to step it up and get moving; I am feeling extra lazy and sluggish.
Christmas Eve morning Julia and I did the workout on her training plan. It required a long hill and several sets of timed lunges. We warmed up by running around Charlestown for 10 minutes and then settled on Monument St to do the walking lunges. However, it wasn’t long enough so we went back to my apartment to grab dumbbells to make it a little more difficult. I also thought I could find a bigger, longer hill so we ran (with the dumbbells) to the other side of Charlestown to an area I knew had a huge staircase and big field of hills. [Running with a 9lb dumbbell is NOT easy.]
Once we got to the hill we did 4 sets of 3 minutes uphill walking lunges. This workout is great for increasing your anaerobic strength and dealing with lactic acid build up so you can still perform at a high level even though your muscles may be tired.
After our workout we ran to do some last minute shopping, but not before grabbing a quick lunch at Panera Bread. I got the ‘You Pick Two’ and had a cup of the festive turkey chili [190 calories] and a 1/2 of the power chicken hummus bowl [140 calories]. It was really good and I didn’t feel like I over indulged at all. Sometimes I hate going out to eat, especially at chain restaurants, because I feel like I end up consuming way too many calories and I am weighed down the rest of the day. But, 330 calories for lunch was the perfect amount to fuel me until our Christmas Eve dinner.
After lunch, we did some of shopping, went home and baked some treats and then went to the mall for our annual picture with Santa! My family has literally taken a picture on Santa’s lap since I was a baby… 28 years and going.
Vinnie and I took our first photo with Santa as a married couple!
Christmas Eve is at my grandparents house. We have been going here for as long as I can remember and it’s the one Christmas tradition we still do, every year! A lot of the people who come we only see once a year. My grandparents make a delicious ham have a lasagna made and my uncle brings scallops wrapped in bacon. It’s so fun to eat all the yummy food and catch up with everyone.
Christmas Day was spent relaxing, opening presents and hanging with family. I got a lot of great presents, I will talk more about those at another time… We went for a nice walk around the Naval Yard and Beacon Hill Monument.
After our walk, we headed up to my uncles for Christmas dinner and ended the night at my parents place in New Hampshire.
On Friday I continued my tour of New England, and drove over to Vermont for some more Christmas fun!
I hope everyone had a great weekend. This holiday season really snuck up on me. I can not believe Christmas is this week. I have had my nose in my computer far too much, I need to pick my head up and smell the eggnog…
Speaking of eggnog…I went to a few Christmas parties last week which is a total blast. They all featured festive eggnog!
My brother, Willie, and I were really enjoying the local eggnog! I seriously think it tasted better because it was local and organic. This holiday party was with a ton of our friends we grew up with in NH so it was really fun to get together, reminisce and celebrate the Holiday’s together.
Another party I attended had a caricature artist and a gingerbread making dessert station which was a really fun idea! Although, the picture of Vinnie and I looks nothing like us! What do you think?
On Saturday, we drove up to UNH to watch the semi-final football game. I believe this is the farthest UNH has made it in the playoffs for many many years so it was a really exciting game and fun to watch with my family because they are all huge sports fans. Unfortunately, UNH lost in the final minutes of the game, but it was still a great way to spend a Saturday!
Sunday, I woke up and made Vinnie and I protein pancakes to start the day. They were just ok… I need to perfect them so Vinnie will keep eating them 🙂
Then we went to my grandparents house to watch the Patriots. This has become a little Sunday tradition for us and we love doing it. They feed us all sorts of crazy snacks that I can never resist chowing on so I always leave incredibly full and super tired from eating and watching tv in a warm cozy house all day. But, it’s worth it!
With all these Christmas parties, comes a lot of eating and drinking. It’s been overwhelming me a bit because I feel like I haven’t done the best job of saying no or resisting the urge to try everything at the party. It’s really hard to do and I am constantly working at it. This season I have done a less than stellar job, but it’s not over, Christmas isn’t even here yet, and I won’t give up on my will power. The second I do that, getting back on track in the New Year will be even harder. I have a lot more Holiday parties to attend and I want to have fun and enjoy myself but I also want to feel good the next day and fit into my clothes. It’s all about the balance!
Part of maintaining the balance is fitting in workouts during this hectic time of year. I haven’t been doing as much as I would like but I am finding time to at least move a little bit every day which is better than nothing! This weeks workouts were:
The past 2 days have flown by! On Sunday, I went over to my sister-in-law, Nicki’s, house and really got into the Holiday spirit. We made gingerbread cookies, watched Love Actually and listened to Christmas music. It was so fun to smell fresh cookies baking, sit around the Christmas tree and drink festive cocktails.
Yesterday, I had jury duty. Honestly, I don’t feel old enough to serve on a jury, but I guess you can get summoned at 18, so that means I am a decade old enough!
Jury Duty was an experience. I have to admit, I was dreading it. I had no idea what to expect and I am so busy with work, life and everything in between that I didn’t feel like I could possibly fit in another commitment. I had to get to the Suffolk Superior Court by 8 am. After leaving my house late, taking a few wrong turns, and freezing the entire walk, I finally arrived a little after 8:15 [fashionably late!].
I rushed out of the house so fast, I forgot my water and snacks I had packed to get me through the day. Once I arrived at the courthouse I stood in line to sign in and get my juror number assigned. Then, I went into the “jury pool” to wait for instructions.
An hour later, a court officer addressed all of us, and had us watch a 18 minute long video that explained the reason we were there and how the whole process works.Shortly after, a superior court judge addressed all of us to further explain how the day will work. Whenever a judge enters the room, everyone has to stand and all the men have to talk their hats off… I kind of felt like I was back in High School!
We had a short break so I snuck out to grab some breakfast. I wen to Starbucks and got the Spinach & Feta wrap. I never buy fast food. NEVER. It was desperate times! The sandwich was surprisingly really good; the spinach tasted fresh and the egg whites seemed normal.
Around 10am, back in the jury pool, my number was called and I was brought into a court room along with what seemed like 100 other people. This is where things got real!
We sat in the court room with the defendant, the lawyers and the judge. The case they were selecting a jury for was for a 1st degree murder… yea, that $hit’s real! It felt like Serial in real life. The judge asked all of us a series of questions about if we had any prior knowledge of this case, she listed the potential witnesses to see if we knew any, and asked if we had any other prejudices or reasons that would make us unfit to sit on the jury. Ultimately, I was “excused” because the trial was going to go until at least the week of December 21st and I have personal commitments that interfere. I was relieved to not have to sit on the juror because I am not sure I could handle the pressure of having a persons fate in my hands but on the other hand I am kind of bummed because it would of been an incredibly interesting experience.
After being excused from Jury Duty I headed home and got ready for a Holiday Gathering for the YES Foundation at the EMC Club at Fenway which is a private club that overlooks the baseball field. They served Fenway Franks and had an amazing view!
But the real reason we were there was to support the Foundation and the Kids. I am a huge fan of YES and what they do for the community of Boston. Their mission is to inspire and challenge youth with physical and mental activities that foster life-long respect for self, others, and the environment. I plan on volunteering this winter and going on a few ski trips with the kids!
It was a busy Monday, but I had a lot of fun. It was empowering seeing, first hand, how our judicial system works. I was thankful to be a part of such a great country – for the people, by the people! Ending such a powerful day with giving back to the Boston community was the cherry on top!
Have you ever served jury duty? What was your experience like?