Thursday, May 4, 2017

Thursday at the Office (and Pre-Office)

Good morning! Happy Friday and a very happy CINCO DE MAYO! Any fun plans for tonight? We don’t have anything specific planned other than cleaning our house for our overnight visitors (Dave and Marie). I’m sure we will end up celebrating in some way… Cinco de Mayo is such a fun holiday—we need to do something!

Soooooo, I heard you guys loud and clear when you asked for more everyday/day in the life posts, so I’m going to do my best to share more of these types of blog posts. I’m still trying to figure out the right balance, but I will make it work! Smile That said, here’s a little recap from yesterday. Let’s kick it off with a cute pug photo, shall we? That face…

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My morning started bright and early when Mal’s alarm went off at 5:19 AM. He’s up and at ‘em, but I’m more slow moving. Murphy jumps out of bed and does the “pug dance” before he lets me pick him up. (I carry him downstairs in the morning because he’s the LOUDEST frickin’ creature when he runs down the stairs for breakfast, especially at that hour of the morning.) Mal makes his breakfast. I break out my laptop and get to work. He leaves for school and then I get myself ready for the day. Qman wakes up shortly after that. We do our morning routine and then I drop him off at school. (I eat breakfast somewhere in there, too.)

My mornings with Quinn have become one of my most favorite things in life. He’s such a sweet kid, and I love listening to him talk about life and what he encounters in the world around him. This whole week, I’ve felt sad leaving him at school. I used to feel a ton of “mom gilt” sending him to daycare, but now it’s just sadness in the fact that I miss him so much. Boo work. *Sigh*

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(Please excuse the atrocious shark drawings that I made for Qman before I left. He’s super into his shark hands this week, and I promise I tried my best! #notanartist)

I leave daycare and drive straight to Starbucks to get to work. I actually run into Kerrie there and we joke that it’s our “pre-office” before the Capital One Café (aka the unofficial DTFN office) opens up.

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Once the café is open, I drive over to Derby Street. Kerrie is already there working (that’s her arm in the photo below). I order a decaf iced Americano with the hope of “testing” coffee as part of the LEAP diet that I am doing. (I promise a blog post is coming soon… just need to finish it!)

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And a weird thing happens: I’m not in the mood for coffee and barely drink any of it. I KNOWWWWW. I have NO IDEA what happened!?! I have no immediate reaction, but maybe my body is telling me something?

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I eventually start to get hungry, so I break out my lunch from home: Quinoa mixed with roasted sweet potatoes, peas, and chicken breast. I also (separately) eat a packet of Justin’s almond butter.

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At noon, we have a quick call with our DTFN coaches. Our team keeps growing, and we’re now up to 7 coaches!

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After our call, I get back to meal plans, chat with clients, bump into a bunch of people that I know (get a couple business cards – Capital One is turning out to be an awesome place to network!), and then start working on this blog post– all while receiving (and geeking out over) live updates from a talk with Dan Harris that one of our DTFN clients is at, which is THE BEST EVER. (Thank you, Alicia!) I have some errands to run at Derby Street, so I take a break to do them.

At Crate & Barrel, I buy a few props for a photo shoot that I am doing with the National Honey Board. Related: I’m so excited about these recipes that I developed and CANNOT wait to share them with you guys! I also pop into Whole Foods to pick up dark chocolate chips to make Quinn’s teachers a “chocolate treat” (his request) for Teacher Appreciation Week.

After that, I pick up Qman from school and my workday is (mostly) done. (I just have a few Instagram posts to publish for CNC and DTFN, but they don’t take me long to publish.)

Have a nice weekend, everyone! See you Monday!

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Oral Health: What You Eat (and Don’t Eat) Counts

Detox Your Body With This Amazing Broccoli Quinoa Tabbouleh!

A New Study Offers Yet Another Reason to Eat Avocados

If you needed another reason to dip your chip (or better yet, a crisp veggie) into a bowl of yummy guacamole, a new comprehensive research review has offered a good one.


The review, published in the journal Phytotherapy Research, evaluated the results of 129 studies to determine the effects of the avocados on various aspects of Metabolic syndrome, which is a group of risk factors that raises your risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke.


The review concluded that the vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and certain phytochemicals (natural plant chemicals that help fight and prevent disease) in avocado may help combat blood pressure, diabetes and other components of Metabolic syndrome and provide a natural alternative to other forms of treatment.


“The pharmacologically active constituents” of avocado are not only “nutritionally valuable,” the authors write, but also “possess antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity in some studies.” They also help lower cholesterol and help prevent cardiovascular disease, and potentially even cancer. Everyday consumption is recommended.


“Avocados start with great taste, but they also serve up a bunch of vitamins, minerals, fiber and heart-healthy fats,” says Virginia-based registered dietitian nutritionist, certified diabetes educator, and certified health and wellness coach Jill Weisenberger (who was not involved with the study review). “For example, they contain the blood pressure friendly mineral potassium and the B vitamin folate, which is important for DNA repair. Avocados are terrific for my patients with diabetes because they add so much flavor with just a little carbohydrate.”


Weisenberger, author of The Overworked Person’s Guide to Better Nutrition, recommends replacing some of the saturated fats in your diet with heart-healthy unsaturated fats in order to improve cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of heart disease and potentially make the body more sensitive to insulin.


“Avocados can help with this,” she says, advising that people dice it onto salads for additional creaminess instead of sprinkling on cheese or mix it into mashed potatoes instead of butter. (Smashed avocado can be used to replace butter in a 1-to-1 ratio.)


“For most people, it’s a good idea to add a little bit to other foods or to swap a less nutrient-dense food out for the delicious, nutrient-dense avocado,” Weisenberger says.


So how much avocado should you eat? Because avocados, like nuts, are flavorful and satisfying, but rich in fat and calorie dense, moderation and mindful eating are key.


“A little bit can go a long way,” Weisenberger says. “A few slices to a third of an avocado is a reasonable amount for most people.”


Sound good. Now, who’s up for avocado toast?


Amy Reiter is a writer and editor based in New York. Her work has appeared in publications including The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Glamour and Marie Claire, as well as Salon, where she was a longtime editor and senior writer. In addition to contributing to Healthy Eats, she blogs for Food Network’s FN Dish.

*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.

from Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy...

Life Lately

Good morning!!

So, this week… slowest week ever?! Jeez Louise, it’s dragging, and I’ve been a day ahead all week long. Tuesday felt like Wednesday. Wednesday felt like Thursday. Meh. I hate when that happens. But, we’re getting close to the weekend, right? And, hey, Cinco de Mayo is tomorrow, so that’s something to look forward to. Well, just wanted to say ‘hello’ and share some adventures from our life lately.

Smiling pug face = the best <3

So, over the weekend, we discovered a new local restaurant with a great outdoor patio called Arrow in Pembroke. (A few people messaged me on Instagram for details, so I figured I’d share here for the local readers.) The food is just so-so (it’s your typical bar food), but the atmosphere is awesome. It’s a perfect spot for summer if you’re from the area!

A photo from Saturday night: Qman and his (girl)friend sitting on the coach, eating chips while watching Paw Patrol. Cutest thing ever!

I’m doing an elimination diet (LEAP) with Kelli, one of our DTFN coaches. (It’s a separate test through her business.) I’m working on a post about the first couple of weeks of the diet, so I’ll share details next week. Breakfast pictured below: Rice + peanut butter, ground chicken, and mango. Super random, but it worked! 🙂

Lately, I’m really trying to disconnect. After this winter’s sh*t show, I’m focusing more on my family, friends, and doing my best to not work at night and on the weekends. (I still work in the early morning a few days a week, but I actually kind of enjoy working at that hour.)

I’m sticking to a consistent workout routine. Finally! Squeezing in quickie workouts at Norwell Athletic Club a couple of times a week has been key. I’m in an our in 30-40 minutes! I’m also loving the 3:30 PM class at KFIT. I can pop in for a workout and then pick Quinn up on the way home. I’m still a member at CrossFit (timing/childcare/distance just doesn’t work right now), and we typically go as a family on Saturdays. The people there are just too great to stop going all together. We’d miss them so much!

Lately, we’re “fake sleeping” just about everywhere. I’m glad that the tradition lives on!

We’re also forgetting our manners at dinnertime. #puglife

Dave and Marie (!!) and their girls and puppies are coming to visit this weekend (can’t wait!), and I’m planning to make these wings again. They’re so friggin’ good, guys!!

I’ve also spent some time (finally) decorating our house. We moved in nearly two years ago, and I’m just getting around to doing it. I actually added another frame to the mantel, a photo of Quinn, to go with the one of Mal as a baby that was already there.

Above: French Cow art is from Crate & Barell// sideboard is from Wayfair (on sale for $799 right now!) // everything else is from Homegoods

Above: All Homegoods + wedding gifts

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend a blogger event at Lifetime Athletic in Westwood. Holy cow, it was epic. I’ve never been to a gym like this before. It was basically a resort/country club with every fitness class and activity you could ever ask for. It was also super kid-friendly with the most amazing childcare center (i.e. karate classes, tumbling room, the biggest climbing jungle gym ever), an indoor kids’ pool as well as an incredible outdoor pool with water slides and the whole shebang. It would be SUCH a fun place to hang out this summer!

And the FOOD from the LifeCafe. Holy hell. So many healthy options and truly something for everyone! I ordered the Chef Dodge Bowl with grilled salmon, artichoke, roasted yellow tomato, squash, zucchini, red & yellow peppers, red onion, broccoli & cauliflower rice with citrus-garlic aioli, and it was phenomenal. It was restaurant-quality and easily the best meal I’ve ever had at a fitness club! So impressed!

I also had the opportunity to take a 30-minute Barbell Strength class, which was awesome. It was basically Body Pump, minus biceps and abs, but with a lot more pep to it. The class actually had three instructors: one calling out cues and the other two checking for good form/assisting members– and all three of them were having such a good time! Their interaction and chemistry definitely made the class a lot of fun! Oh, and as I write this post, I am totally feeling muscles I haven’t felt in awhile. It’s crazy how much you can do in a short amount of time if you’re efficient with your workout!

And, finally, we got to take a LifePower Vinyasa class (with Kristen – noting her name because her music choices totally made the class), which was done in a semi-hot room. I loved the format of the class and LOVED the music. I feel like most yoga classes have that spa-like, hippy-dippy, nature sounds music, but the class we took had contemporary/modern/awesome music that made me want to STAY in class instead of wanting to leave after like 20 minutes because I am so bored. It was honestly my favorite yoga class to date, and I definitely want to take it again soon! (My gosh, my hips need it!) Speaking of which, Lifetime gave me a guest pass for the next two months, and I’m so excited to take Mal and Qman. I know they will love it too!

Question of the Day

Have you ever been to a Lifetime? 

What’s your favorite group exercise class? 

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Some Updates!

^^Thar she grows! Tomatoes are in!


Remember how I ordered the ThirdLove bra to try? Disliked. I hate to ever be negative, but it was just the same as any old T-shirt bra I’ve tried. Weak aka not supportive fabric. I sent it back. I am still on the hunt for a few good new bras, as mine are on the old side and I had to toss one out. I am giving this True & Co one a try after a friend raved about it, and I ordered one of my favorite sports bras from Victoria’s Secret again. I am looking for some strappy sports bras to wear under casual clothes this summer when it’s 90 degrees and Mazen wants to go around the block on a bike ride, so I am trying out this one and this one from VS too. Their sports bra prices are better than most of the higher end companies too.


Gussie was having a hard time on the wooden stairs, so we DIYed a runner for them. I used two Dash & Albert runners just like the Young House Love tutorial. Thomas was able to install them with a staple gun in an afternoon. Love the herringbone!


I wrote about the Target Threshold Performance sheets last year when I bought a set on sale. They continue to be my favorite sheets! I was on an all-white sheet kick for many years, but suddenly I am into patterns. I picked up this pattern with a gift card/cartwheel/sale combo and love it! The pattern colors go so well with my PB linen duvet cover.

Also purchased at Target: this vintage v-neck t-shirt in bright blue for $6. Love it when things are awesome and inexpensive!

Patio Furniture

Some history

2013: bought Pottery Barn Palmetto outdoor furniture for covered screened-in porch in white

2015: moved away from screened in porch and furniture now exposed to the elements

2016: realized white cushions I bought for a covered porch weren’t going to work living outside, so bought navy blue PB canvas replacement slipcovers to hopefully hide stains/dirt better

2016 summer: navy didn’t make it. Totally faded.

Lessons learned: never move. haha.

I sent photos of the cushions to Pottery Barn to see if they would consider replacing them, and they said they normally don’t replace for wear and tear but mine are so bad they will just this one time. (Aka I can’t call them next year and get more.) I have to ship the covers back (for free) and they will give me a store credit card. I am going to buy the expensive Sunbrella kind this time around (waiting for a 20% off PB sale) and cross my fingers that they last! I should have just gotten them to begin with. It looks like PB no longer sells the covers in the cheaper PB Canvas, so maybe they realized it just wasn’t good quality and stopped making it. I’ll let you know how the Sunbrella holds up!

Yard Work

Remember how last year I put sod down in the yard? For the most part, it did pretty well. The edges of the yard are thick and thriving. But the middle part, where the incline is the steepest, didn’t quite make it. I overseeded in the fall but it just wasn’t enough to fill in the gaps. We’re working with Turf HD to boost the health of the yard this summer and will do a more structured seeding in the fall for the bad spots. It’s actually way more affordable than I thought it would be, so hopefully, the grass will look like it did on sod installation day last year!

That’s it for all my updates!

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