Archive for May, 2013
May 31, 2013
Live With Fire means living life to its fullest. Live With Fire is an intent, a passion, and a purpose to what you do and who you are. Living with fire brings out the best version of you. Live With Fire is a kick-butt attitude and motivating mantra created by Reebok.
If you are more of a visual person, here is a quick video to help:
Chills. I love it! #livewithfire
I am excited to share that I am now in a partnership with Reebok and will be receiving new products from the brand on an ongoing basis. (Squeal!) Here on the blog, I will share my thoughts and reviews on what’s new, as well as host exciting product giveaways for you!
Not just every day giveaways, either.
I am talking stuff-I-will-be-jealous-to-raffle-off-to-you kind of inventory.
I don’t know about you guys, but I find more motivation to get to the gym or go for a run when I feel good. When I look good, I feel good. There’s something about putting on new workout attire that lights an extra fire under me to get out there and test it out/show it off. It may sound silly, but I know I am not alone here!
Last week I received a box full of Reebok goodies, geared up, and headed out to spin class sporting it that very day. The next morning, I put on another head-to-toe outfit hours before getting a workout in. Everything is that comfortable.
Across the board, I am in love with all of the materials used in their clothing. All three tops I wore had PlayDry technology, which moves moisture and aids in ventilation. Even being sweaty post-workout, I did not want to change into other clothes. I am seriously enamored by the softness!
Yoga Pocket Tank
The “who made the rules” message on the front is powerful! It might just be as comfortable as wearing silk pajamas, and has the loose and flowy fit I love to wear with leggings. It was designed for yoga, but you could sport it to any group exercise class and even keep it on after to run errands (I did!). I adore the design of the back, and kind of never want to take it off…
ZigKick Ride Running Shoes
I was stoked to see a pair of shoes in the big blue box of glory! I purchased a new pair of running shoes not too long ago, and was excited to try out a new new pair. At first glance, I did not think these looked like running shoes.
Generally speaking, most supportive running shoes are not the cutest… and well, these are.
Before I even put them on, I noticed the zig-zag teaser design on the heel. Totally diggin’ it!
For only having these for a little over a week, I have really put them to the test. I have worn them spinning, gone for a few treadmill runs, and even walked about ten city miles of Boston in them!
I have to admit that I did not think these would be good running shoes. I figured they would be good to throw on for a group fitness class, to lift weights, and to walk around in, but didn’t like the idea of straying away from my Mizuno’s for a long distance run. I have yet to run more than four miles at a time in them, but have to give credit for the extra support I felt in the heel area. They were great and super comfortable the entire time I had them on!
Not one, but a set of two of these bad boys from the new ReebokONE line.
PWR Legging (black + print)
Let me start by saying I am one hundred percent obsessed with leggings. As a dancer and blogger who works from home, I am in gym, dance and workout apparel for the majority of my day. Every day.
Leggings are my favorite piece of fitness clothing, unless I am going for a run outside in warm weather. I will find any excuse to wear them, and you better believe that I have already put these pairs of PWR leggings to good use!
(The shoes pictured above are the Reebok Dance UR Lead Mid Shoes I previously reviewed.)
Like I mentioned earlier, the material of this legging is out-of-this-world comfortable. I cannot get over how soft and light they feel, like I am almost not wearing anything at all. (Tee-hee!) The height of the top sits in exactly the right spot and does not hug the waist.
As someone who often has to wear leggings and a half top, I really appreciate this. The cuffs at the bottom didn’t bother me (as I thought they might), and I didn’t have to worry about bending over and flashing anybody – no see through material here!
As if things could get any softer…
Holy geez are these the best. Probably the most comfortable workout shirts I own, I am finally a fan of breaking a sweat in sleeves!
The material is fitted, but super stretchy. I thought I would get irritated by the tightness of the sleeves (as I often do with t-shirts over tanks), but they didn’t get in the way at all.
I am really impressed on how dry it became after I worked up a sweat running in the white one. After a few miles of sprints, I was drenched on my stomach and back. Before I even got home from the gym thirty minutes later, I was dry enough to keep the thing on and not even notice. PlayDry, you are my hero!
I am truly excited for this new PWR collection by Reebok. I like the look of the printed fabric, but love the motivational words and phrases. Feeling tired? All you have to do for an extra push is look down at your clothes:
One More. Strength. Power. From the Core. Make Every Rep Count.
Live With Fire!
Reebok is a strong brand to me. They produce cute clothes (and some of the coolest sneakers I have seen), but more importantly have a strong and infectious need to succeed lifestyle and attitude. I am extremely grateful to be able to work with them, and promise to have more from them for you in the very near future.
*Disclaimer: I was provided with these products by Reebok, free of charge. I was not compensated in any way for this review, and simply exchanged my time for product. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own!
Only one more day to enter to win a FREE Drenched 5K entry. <- wet and wild summer race! Don’t be afraid to sign up and join me in Columbus, either.
Have a great weekend!
May 30, 2013
Hey, hey everyone! How is your week going?
I am excited to say it is actually starting to warm up here in Detroit. Hallelujah! But enough about this place.
If you have been paying attention this week, then you already know that Scott and I recently came back from out of town. While I normally do not spend more than a day or two covering a trip, my focus on writing this week has been everything Boston!
If you are not the slightest bit interested in the city, then I apologize, because the two of us have become completely smitten.
Since our arrival, we spent every hour exploring as much as we could which is really the only way to travel, according to Scott. I can’t say I disagree though… this trip is one we will remember and think about for a long time.
We spent Saturday and Sunday exploring the North End, the Boston Marathon Finish Line, and several other famous city spots along the way. Monday was Memorial Day, and it could not have a better day to spend entirely outside!
Boston Duck Tour
Anyone we ran into who found out we were tourists all said the same thing, “you have to do the Duck Tour!” Booked and ready to go, we started our walk over to the starting point around 9:30 a.m Monday.
On our way, we saw a lovely little Australian coffee shop called CuppaCoffee, and I suggested we give it a try.
Some of you may not know that Scott worked over in Australia last summer. He loved it there and in fact, we were pretty darn close to accepting a job offer over there. (Shh – don’t tell the families!) Obviously, we didn’t, and instead enjoy the Aussie culture whenever we get a chance.
One thing I remember Scott saying is how thorough they are in making coffee drinks. Unlike a traditional Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts, they take extra time to make every drink special and the results are delicious.
Check out Scott’s iced mocha latte!
Yum. But enough about coffee…
I was excited to spend the morning exploring the city on a Duck Tour! Say hello to our chartreuse wheels and our informative conDUCKtor, Quackinmack. (<- or something similar).
The DUKW (colloquially known as Duck) is a World War II inspired amphibious landing vehicle, able to travel by land or sea for a complete tour of the city! With a full truck, we set off with our camera ready to capture the sights.
Since Scott and I had already done a lot of exploring on our own, we knew this tour would be a good gauge on how well we did finding what there is to do! First major land mark: Trinity Church. You can see the beautiful reflection of it as well as our DUCK off of the John Hancock Tower.
As we made our way around the city, we saw a lot of familiar spots, including the Kings Chapel + Burial Grounds.
The last forty-five minutes or so were my favorite. We traveled into the Charles River and enjoyed a view of both the cities of Boston and Cambridge.
What separated the two was the Longfellow Bridge, also referred to as the “Salt-and-Pepper-Shaker Bridge”.
With a slight breeze and the sun out in the 70s, it was my absolute favorite hour of our trip! Slowly, we floated across the river and soaked in the view. Towards the end, we spotted our future place of residence if we ever decide to move here. (Right on the river, no big deal!)
On our way back to land, we passed a few other Ducks and acknowledged them with a few waves and a lot of quacks.
Loved our Duck Tour!!
Revisiting the City
While quacking, we also took some notes on things our guide pointed out to revisit. One notable building was right across the street from our hotel! The Old State House held the first reading of the Declaration of Independence back in 1776. Actually, it was right there on that balcony.
Starting to get hungry for lunch, we did a quick search of where to find the best clam chowder in the city. According to ratings on Zagat, it was right here in Quincy Market. We had briefly passed through it the first day here, and were excited to give it a full visit with hungry bellies, as our concierge suggested.
This time, the crowds were here as well as a bunch of street performers!
After watching a few shows, we made our way through the hallways a few times without any luck finding our destination.
We eventually asked for help and made it to Boston Chowda Co. with clam chowder on our minds! Wanting to try other things, we split a large bowl and it sure was “a pretty good bowl ‘a cowda!”
For lunch, we made note to visit Dick’s Last Resort. Things have been known to get pretty rowdy here, with full blame on the servers as instigators.
Around the restaurant you will hear yelling, whining, and jokes from servers and staff with you as their punchline.
Anyone could be a subject of embarrassment, so Scott and I felt that starting with two Angry Orchard Ciders might be a good idea.
I have to admit that I was not very impressed by our server. I don’t know if he was having an off day, but he was actually nice to us, and did not make fun of us in any kind of way. We were at least expecting hats with embarrassing messages on them, but that was also a no-go.
Instead, we made our own.
I ordered the Southwest Salad, and Scott ordered the Wrap It Up Sandwich. Both were pretty good, and the best part was the side of jalapeno ranch dressing!
We enjoyed everything else about the restaurant, and hope that the next time we get to visit one that the server will play more into the environment. Not everyone can be a “dick,” I suppose.
We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening walking around and enjoying the sights. I could not tell you how far we walked, but I if I had to guess I would say at least ten miles. No joke!
Eventually, our appetites were back and it was time to find dinner.
We first tried to get into Giacomo’s Ristorante in Little Italy, but the line was literally out the door with at least an hour wait. Everyone around assured us the wait was well worth it, and we only left with an understanding that we would try for lunch the next day instead. It was a total bummer when we went back to find they don’t open until 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. Next time!
With a plan of returning to Little Italy the next day, Scott and I headed back towards the water for the next best thing… sea food. As the sun set, we stopped to take the scenery of the shore in and enjoy a few moments waterside.
Everyone kept telling us to go to Legal Seafood. Since we were in Boston, we used that as an excuse to load up in fresh sea food and order up the menu. (Oops!)
Our plans to split one appetizer and one entree changed when our waiter somehow talked us into much, much more. We started with Rhode Island style calamari, which was out of this world.
I ordered the crab cake combo that included scallops, shrimp and a side salad. The crab cake was very chunky and didn’t have an ounce of breading on it. Everything was dreamy!
Scott went with an old faithful of steamed lobster. He got the “small” 1.5 pound portion with a side of white rice and sauteed spinach. Bib on and hands up, he was ready to go!
By far, the best lobster I have had in a while.
“If it isn’t fresh, it isn’t Legal!”
Ugh, I could just go on and on. By now you realize we absolutely loved our time in Boston, and instead of rambling on for another few paragraphs, I am going to separate our Day 4 adventures into a post for tomorrow.
Have I lost you guys yet?
Questions of the Day
• Have you ever been to Boston? What was your favorite thing to do/see?
• What is your favorite type of seafood?
My favorite seafood is everything you see in the above photos. Shrimp, lobster, calamari, crab, scallops… all fantastic in my eyes. Oysters, mussels, tuna, and fish on the other hand, I am still trying to get used to. I have to say this trip has helped conquer my fears, and I am now open to trying more!
May 29, 2013
Hello from Detroit!
Scott and I got home from our Boston trip last night, and I have so so much to share with you. Since this was one of our first vacations together since our honeymoon (man, it’s been forever!) we wanted to make the most of it and squeeze everything we possibly could into each day there.
I think it is safe to say we kicked that goal’s booty, and I am going to use the next few posts to highlight things we did that I think any visitor would like to see during a trip to the city.
In case you missed it, I highlighted Day 1 of our trip earlier this week with things to do on the North End. Here we go!
Boston Day 2:
Walking the Cemeteries
We set out ready to hit the city Sunday at about 10 a.m. Without any destination spots in mind, we stumbled upon not one but two cemeteries on our way to grab some coffee. Just about a block from where we were staying lays the King’s Chapel + Burial Ground.
Pre-coffee I wasn’t completely thrilled about stopping in, but I got over it soon enough and started to appreciate the history in front of me. I actually became quite intrigued.
The majority of the tombs had what’s called a “death’s head”: a non-religious symbol of a skull usually with wings or crossed bones.
We spent about fifteen minutes in the first cemetery, and then quickly found the next one called Granary Burial Ground.
This one was considerably larger and housed the tombs of John Hancock, Samuel Adams, all signers of the Declaration of Independence, and an impressive list of Governors!
Both burial grounds were established wayyyy back in the 1600s, and both Scott and I couldn’t believe we were standing on the ground that keeps their remains.
We kind of felt that way the entire weekend, wherever we happened to go. History seems so much more fun when you are walking it and seeing it in person!
Boston Marathon Memorial
While waking up Sunday morning, we heard cheering outside of our window coming from the streets. We figured it was some kind of Memorial Day Parade and didn’t think too much else of it.
Come to find out, the cheers were for the runners who never got to cross the finish line during the 2013 Boston Marathon. THIS was the day anyone running the race got the chance to run the final mile, right along the same Finish Line path that caused so much pain and suffering when two bombs went off just last month.
We only found this out after asking our hotel concierge about the cheers, and decided it would be an appropriate time to go see the memorial the city has so lovingly set up.
On our walk over to Bolyston, the Boston Strong signs and symbols consumed the streets. This city is very proud and very strong, showing support in every way possible.
We found the Boston Public Library before anything else.
Knowing this was the landmark that surrounded the bombings, it only took a glance over to see the an entire corner set up to honor and support those who ran, got injured, lost a loved one, or lost their own lives just about a month ago.
It was so sad, but at the same time incredible to see such a huge display of love and support for a city in mourning.
It was a quiet rest of the hour while Scott and I researched and took note of exactly where everything happened. You could see where the sidewalk tiles had been replaced, you could see where businesses have closed down for repairs, but most importantly, you could see how much the city is NOT letting this act of terror define it.
The Finish Line is still painted onto the street, and I have a feeling it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
Boston will continue to receive prayers from us, as well as from runners, Americans, and people across the globe.
Max Brenner Chocolate Store + Restaurant
Feeling kind of blue, Scott and I turned our focus away from pain and onto something a little less depressing: chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate!
I had never been to a Max Brenner’s restaurant before, and Scott said there is where we were going to eat the second we saw it. Known for creating unique and tasty ways to eat chocolate during every course of your meal, this idea was perfectly fine by me!
Torn between a gazillion scrumptious chocolate stuffed and drizzled entrees, we both decided on two less sweet and more “normal” dishes.
Craving greens, I ordered the Chicken Cobb Salad and Scott got the Mexi’can Omelet (which was my second choice).
Notice there is a buttered biscuit dusted in powdered sugar with a side of dipping chocolate on the plate. Umm… mine.
Lucky for me, we ended up sharing the two (like he had any other option), and finished our lunch off with a pair of Italian Crème hot chocolates.
I ordered the dark chocolate, and Scott ordered white chocolate. Hate to brag, but his was a bit too rich for our liking, while mine was just the right amount of richness and perfection.
(His was also five times as hot to hold. I totally win!)
It took all of my will power to not purchase the adorable and strangely comforting Hug Mugs they came in, too! Max Brenner is definitely worth a visit if you ever come close enough to one.
We spent the rest of our afternoon walking the city, soaking in history, and taking way to many pictures.
Boston Common and Public Garden
Our last part of our day passed through two gorgeous areas: the Boston Common and the Public Garden.
Founded in 1634, the Boston Common is known as the “Central Park” of Boston, and is the oldest city park in the United States! Two decades later, the Public Garden was established (in 1837) and is considered to be America’s first botanical garden.
The two parks are located right next to each other and are incredibly stunning!
Both are very inviting to come take a stroll, sit on the lawn, walk your dog, or just sit enjoy the beautiful scenery. You can even go for a Swan Boat ride.
Throughout both parks, there are numerous statues and structures representing some of the city’s greats.
Unfortunately, we only got to quickly walk through this area before having to rush back to the hotel and get ready for Scott’s work event later that evening. Even for the few minutes we were there, it was a beautiful and memorable experience!
More on Boston to come, friends.
(I told you… we did SO much, and I have SO much to share!)
Happy Hump Day!
May 27, 2013
Hello from Boston! (Or, what Scott likes to call Bah-ston).
It has been quite the cold and rainy weekend since the moment we landed around Noon Saturday. Although the weather outside has not been ideal, we haven’t let it dampen our plans to explore the city and enjoy our Memorial Day Weekend here!
Since our arrival into the city, we have been quite the on-the-go couple, trying to fit in as much sightseeing as we can. We flew out here for a work event last night, but with the exception of that have the rest of the weekend to do whatever we please. No complaints here!
Let’s get right to the good stuff – things to do in Boston. Since I have never visited this city before, I wanted go see and take pictures of everything, hence the need for daily posts about what we have been up to.
Day 1 (Saturday) hit us like a rainstorm! Literally…
The weather predicted off-and-on rain for the entire day, and that is exactly what happened. Andddd, that is the last photo you will see with my hair down.
We left our hotel mid-afternoon ready to take on the city and weather.
The concierge at our hotel (I will give more details of where we are staying once we checkout – wink wink) gave us some things to keep us busy, and on our walk to to lunch, we passed by a few cool spots to revisit again later.
One is called Quincy Market, a 200-year-old food hall and marketplace popular for both tourists and locals to visit.
We walked inside and through the shops quickly, but took note of two restaurants we wish we had time for: Dick’s Last Resort and a replica of the famous Cheers Bar. We heard to come through the market hungry, because each shop is there to sell something unique and tasty!
It wasn’t long before we arrived to our lunch destination of Mare Oyster Bar in the North End. After a walk in the wind and rain, I was happy to sit down to a nice cold Down East Cider!
Earlier, we told our concierge we want to try oysters and lobster, and he recommended us visiting this place as well as making a reservation first. As soon as we walked in, I knew why.
Mare Oyster Bar is known as a nice sea food dinner spot, and we caught them right when they opened at 2 p.m. The food was absolutely fantastic, but more than a little out of our price range for lunch. Upon first glance of the menu, we decided to go for the oysters and split an entrée.
By the way… did I mention I don’t like oysters? The texture gets me every time. I am perfectly fine with shrimp, scallops, crab, and lobster, but have never been a fan of oysters or mussels.
Since we were in Boston (a city that has some of the freshest) I put my negative thoughts aside and just went for it.
The one (ha!) I tried was a Fire River, and the others on the plate were Wellfleet and Bagaduce <- whatever that means. It was actually tolerable!
For an entrée, we listened to our server’s suggestion and ordered the Lobster Roll. We have heard nothing but great things about them, and that this place has one of the best in the city! Split between the two of us, we had 2.5 pounds of fresh lobster warmed up on a buttered roll with a side of seasoned fries.
We also split a side of their grilled asparagus with an over easy egg and Parmesan cheese on top.
Everything was unbelievably good, and the lobster was dreamy! Absolutely amazing… just like our bill. Wow. Luckily, that was our big meal for the day!
Full and ready to tolerate the rainy weather, we walked just a street or two over to visit The Paul Revere House.
Yes, that would be the famous “The British Are Coming” Paul Revere! Today, the historical landmark still stands and has been restored and turned into a small museum. There were no photographs allowed inside, so all I can really show you is this exterior one.
For an admission of $3.50 a person, we passed an hour of time and learned a lot about him, his family, and his contributions to U.S. History. (Definitely worth the time!)
While in the North End, we wandered over to a famous bakery, suggested by a friend of ours back home.
Holy cannoli, was this place bangin’!
With a typical line out the door, Mike’s Pastry is the most talked about bakeries in the city. It has been family owned for generations, and withholds the traditional Italian way of baking (and packaging!) to this day.
Off hand, I would guess that they have at least thirty different types of cannolis, among other things including cookies, cakes, gelati, biscotti and a cafe of coffee drinks. Of course, I had to try the Mint Chocolate cannoli.
Most of you know by now that I have an obsession with this dessert combination, and this cannoli was right up there with the Lobster Roll in dreamland. Ridiculously delicious!
It is a good thing that Boston is considered to be a “walking city,” because we have been eating our faces off! The only thing saving our waistlines is getting to most of our destinations by foot, which has also allowed us to enjoy seeing the sights along the way.
We both prefer it that way, anyways.
After a morning of travel and a full afternoon of indulgences, we headed back to the hotel to rest before dinner. Apparently our food comas took over, because we both napped for two hours. <- oh hey there, vacation kicking in!
Dressed, rested and ready, we set out for a light bite with high hopes of finding entertainment from an Irish pub.
Once again, we heard about the hot spots from our concierge (gotta love Charles!) and walked over to Mr. Dooley’s on Broad Street. The place was packed to the tee and asking for a cover, so we turned to our second option of Barney Fanning’s Boston Irish Pub.
Before we even looked how to get there, we ran into a friendly couple who just got out of a Boston Bruin’s hockey game, also looking to get into the pub. We decided to walk over together, and both Scott and I thought it was funny how this couple seemed to know everyone on our way over.
By the time we got to Barney’s, we went right in and sat at the bar. We were offered a round of drinks “on them” and as it turns out this fun-loving couple were the owners of the place! What are the odds of that?
John and Enza were so welcoming and an absolute blast to hang out with! After a few rounds and another attempt at oysters (I ate four this time!) the four of us eventually went back over to Mr. Dooley’s and had a great night.
For those of you looking for two fun and entertaining spots to visit, I recommend both of these pubs. Barney Fanning’s for more of a Boston sports bar type of feel, and Mr. Dooleys for a more traditional Irish pub environment with live music and dancing.
Scott and I have tried to fit in as much as we can this weekend, and I have another action packed Boston post coming your way tomorrow. For now, we’re off for Day 3: A Duck Tour of the city!
Hope you all have a happy and safe Memorial Day!