Blog post back up – Part 2: Cruisin’ and brunchin’ with Odyssey Cruises

A few weeks ago, I had the awesome opportunity via Blog and Tweet Boston to hop on board the Odyssey Boston yacht and cruise around Boston Harbor all while boozin’ and brunchin’ with blogger friends (I was so tempted to say “buds” just for the alliteration…say that 5 times fast =)).

My friend Katharine and I arrived at Rowes Wharf just before noon on what was a seriously gorgeous day in Boston. We hung out, caught up (she just moved back up to Boston from Florida) and waited to board the boat.

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We joined my fellow blogger friends – Stacey, Rachel and Jen (plus, guests) – and a bunch of other bloggers and …well, tweeters… and quickly made our way to the bar. I mean c’mon what’s brunch without a little bit of booze. Champagne, anyone? We worked our way through a wedding party and made our way up to the top deck of the boat to enjoy a little sunshine and –of course – take pictures. After that we managed (not gonna lie, we struggled a bit to find where our group was) to find our way to our little section and settled in for the buffet.

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This was not a diet brunch (what fun would that be, really?). I fully embraced it and piled my plate with French toast, bacon, eggs, home fries, and my FAVORITE smoked salmon – though I was bummed that their bagels weren’t anything to write home about. I honestly can’t remember the last time I had French toast so I was a super happy (and full) camper.  They did have a bunch of lunch options (pasta, chicken, etc) but I skipped out of those in favor of a few more servings of smoked salmon. My obsession knows no bounds.

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I digress. The food was good, and it was nice to sit by the windows and watch the city roll by from the water. Boston’s just beautiful. No denying it.

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After we’d stuffed ourselves, we made our way up to the top deck where we finished out cruise out with some fun Boston facts that I never knew about (did you know they turn Castle Island into haunted houses at Halloween – one for adults, one for kids, and that Nix’s Mate isn’t just a bar in the Hilton in the Financial District but an island that “legend-has-it” they used to hang pirates off of as a “warning” to other sailors?).

Stacey, me, Rachel

Stacey, me, Rachel

Overall, I had a great afternoon cruising around Boston on an absolutely gorgeous day with awesome people. The Odyssey would be a great option for special occasions. Like I mentioned, there was even a wedding party on board when we were there, so plenty of space!!

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Just a lil’ bit of wind

Thanks to Blog & Tweet Boston and Odyssey Cruises for the complimentary ticket/meal/alcohol. While I was provided the ticket for free, in exchange for a blog post, my opinions are my own. 

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Seasons 52 has made its way to Mass!

Hello, hello! I’m back. After the craziness of moving out of my old apartment and then into my new one…I’m happy to be back, successfully connected to the internet, falling into a new commuting routine aaand back in my tiny kitchen (those who’ve been with me for a while, you may notice that it is the SAME lil’ kitchen I was cooking out of two years ago…yes, back in the same place, what’re the chances?!)So now I’m settling into my new/old apartment (I was lucky enough to re-connect with my awesome former landlord who was nice enough to fly up here to show me units before they were officially on the market! – I mean c’mon, once you find an awesome landlord in a city of less than stellar ones you hold on tight and don’t let go!) In the craziness of the move, I was actually lucky enough to be able to take an evening and enjoy a dinner at the brand new Seasons 52 in Burlington, MA. Seasons 52 is a franchise – but this location in Burlington is the first in MA (they’re also moving into Chestnut Hill soon!!) and I’m so thrilled to see a trend towards delicious and health conscious dining options coming to the Bay State!

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So to back up a bit, I received an invite to attend a media dinner held at the not-yet-opened restaurant on August 27. I was really excited, but didn’t quite know what to expect.

I arrived at Seasons 52 in Wayside Commons in Burlington (right above the Ethan Allen and L.L. Bean) and was surprised at how big the place was! We walked inside (I extended an invite to my bloggie friend Stacey as well and we carpooled) and it was a large, but really warm space. They weren’t open yet, but the place was buzzing with happy customers as the restaurant conducted its last night of “soft opening” before the big day.

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We were escorted through the dining room to a large, private room in the back where I was (pleasantly) surprised to see only 6 chairs set up – an awesome and intimate setting – and greeted with glasses of champagne (yum!)! We received a tour of the place – which includes awesome amenities (live piano 7-nights a week, and rooms that are perfect for your bridal shower or a business meeting!).

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Once all of us were settled in, our wine-tour and meal got rolling. We were lucky enough to have the chef speak to each of the plates, and world-class Master Sommelier, George Miliotes, guide us through each glass of wine that accompanied our meals.

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The food was phenomenal. It was my first time trying quail – and let’s be honest, filet is always a winner in my book. Cool fact – all of their entrees are 475 calories or UNDER. Craziness right? Especially since we live in a world where you can almost expect to have an salad that runs you 1200 or
more! It’s not 475 calories and the size of a thimble either – these are full-plates of awesome, comfort food. You really can’t go wrong.  Just take a look at that menu.

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Okay, let’s be honest – you’re all here for the photos. Just take a look at this awesomeness. And if you’re in the area – I highly suggest you check them out. Great people, great food, great wine. Can’t go wrong.  Thank you to Chris Potter from Ogilvy for reaching out, and Seasons 52  for your hospitality and the amazing meal. I will be back – and bringing friends.

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(em)Power Hour

Okay – so I’d been hearing a lot of buzz about The Studio Empower for a while now – a LOT of bloggers I know had the opportunity to try them out (and then host awesome giveaways….more on that later!) so I’d seen a little bit about the Newton Centre-based hotspot before Blog and Tweet Boston announced they were holding a blogger event there. So I jumped at the change to challenge myself with something different.

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I mean – I was coming off of vacation…it was needed. So I hopped on the T on a Saturday morning and joined Shelby, Kerrie, Lucie, and Janelle at a 10 a.m. class with Bobby to sweat it out.

Annnnd sweat it out I did. Not pretty. haha

No – you’re not blasting yourself with traditional cardio, but you are seriously upping your heart rate and you  work muscles you didn’t even know you had with controlled, sustained movement on their Megaformer machines. Controlled is key…getting the hang of the machine is a half the battle! They’re really good at making sure you’re using the machines correctly and safely…minimizing chance of injury – which is always, ya know, good.

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We worked arms, abs, glutes, legs….and man, by the end of the 45 minute workout I was spent….and drenched! From the beginner to the advanced, this class is for anyone, any level. Everything can be adjusted, and it’s really cool to see the difference in moves, coordination, weights – as you grow stronger.

Grow stronger? How would I know this – it was a just one class right? Well – I was lucky enough to find out after this class that I actually won a free month with them from Jen’s giveaway!! It’s a quick T-ride from my current apartment so getting there is a breeze for me (half the battle)! I’ve been to now a total of 3 classes this week (in addition to the free blogger class) and I’m loving it. I’ll be honest, some stuff is a little tough being tall on the machine…but I can always move to the floor if I’m too long for certain moves (plaaaanks). I can feel myself getting stronger – even after just three classes – and I will be using this free month to my full-advantage before I move!

I’m hooked and I’d highly recommend you try it out! If you’re near Newton – classes are small and the instructors are fantastic. Super supportive and really have your best interest (and safety) at heart.

So now you know my newest addiction. What’s your current fitness obsession?

Surviving Nemo

You know, before this weekend – Nemo was an adorably rebellious clown fish who found himself in quite the predicament at 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney. Okay, so he still is…but now Nemo is also a crazy ass snow storm that dumped 28 inches of snow on us in less than 24 hours.

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Wooooooo.

Boston came to a stand still…hell, Massachusetts came to a standstill. Cars were banned from the roads starting at 4pm (people complained but I think it was a smart decision), and driving wasn’t allowed until 4pm the next day. The MBTA haulted for 3 days so there was absolutely no public transportation…sooo what did I do to keep the cabin fever at bay? Well – if you follow me on Instagram (which you should if you don’t!), you’ll know…I baked. And ate. And baked. And ate. Oh…and drank some wine.

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However, between all the carbohydrates and alcohol – I did consume some vegetables. I swear. Balance. Haha

Ones of those veggies? Rainbow chard.  I’d never had or made it before…but when I saw those colors pop out at me at the grocery store I had to get it. Prettty! It was a buy now, figure out what to do with it later situation.

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I did some Googling, and decided to keep it simple. Extra virgin olive oil, 2 large shallots, 2-3 cloves of garlic, salt, pepper…and I think some Onion & Herb Mrs. Dash and red pepper flakes…and steamed/sautéed until it looked good.

Very technical, I know.

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And ya know what, it was awesome. I have another bunch in my fridge right now just waiting for the same treatment.

Now, as I sit here watching the news…we’re in for another 1-3 inches Thursday. Pshh…a dusting….a dusting.