My Favorite Things: November (+ D.C. Travel)

My Favorite Things: NovemberThis month’s roundup of favorites includes a bunch from my trip to Washington D.C. early in November. I thought about doing a post dedicated to the trip, but because most of the time was spent working, I don’t have a *ton* of fun travel tips to share as far as where I ate, worked out, visited, etc.. I definitely have to plan another trip down there to fully experience the city!

Favorite Products/Services

adidas 24/7 Training Shoes

November Favorites: Adidas SneakersI was gifted these sneakers by adidas and love them for many reasons. First and most importantly, I get a ton on compliments on them, and that’s all that really matters in this life, right?! (I’m kidding. Kind of.) They’re comfortable and attractive, but the primary reason I love them is probably something to which only fellow bloggers will relate. No visible logos—not even adidas’ signature three stripes! There is a small logo on the back heel, but it’s the same color as the rest of the sneaker so it’s not visible in pictures or film.

Often times when working with clients, they’ll request that there are no visible logos on clothing worn in the pictures from competing brands or just none at all period. It’s pretty easy to find leggings and tank tops meeting this criteria, but I often find myself going into photoshop and needing to meticulously blur out sneaker logos on every picture used within a workout tutorial. These adidas sneakers are now my go-to for partnership projects!

Unscented Aloe Hand & Body Lotion from Avalon Organics

November Favorites: Avalon OrganicsI’m a moisturizing freak. Like I don’t think I’ve gotten out of the shower without lathering my whole body since I was in middle school. This unscented body lotion comes in JUMBO size with a pump top and has found permanent residence on my bathroom counter. This was a find on Thrive (<— that link gets you an additional 25% off your first order and free shipping). Not only do I like the discounts via Thrive but I love having heavy household items delivered to my door (hashtag carless-city-living problems).

November Favorites: EO Body Oil

I alternate between using that unscented body lotion and using this body oil from E.O. that I’ve definitely mentioned on the blog before. This particular body oil blend has a distinct lavender scent which is great but I don’t like smelling like anything when I’m out and about. So if I shower at night, I’ll apply the body oil (lavender is great for promoting a good night’s sleep as well!) and if I shower during the day, I’ll apply the Avalon Organics lotion.

High Shine Signature Tight from DYI

November Favorites: DYI high shine leggings

photo by Nick Cosky for Btone // mesh tank is Free People (old but if you haven’t checked out their workout clothes, they’ve got some super cute stuff!)

I’ve never been asked “Where’d you get those?!” about an article of clothing as much as I have about these leggings. They were gifted to me by DYI and I’m in love. I have them in burgundy and honestly want them in every single other color, too. They have a super high waist which I love and hot damn does that metallic sheen photograph well. They’re $88 and you can check out all the colors here. I wouldn’t say it’s the best material for running, but I love them for low-impact workouts and everyday wear. They have a second-skin type fit—it’s a thinner material but they’re tight and hold things in place.

Ruffle-Sleeved Oversized Sweatshirt

November Favorites: Ruffle Sleeved SweatshirtI *try* to have a quality-over-quantity approach to my wardrobe and prioritize ethical, environmentally-friendly brands over fast fashion but you know what?? Sometimes you just fall in love with an $11 pink ruffled sweatshirt at Primark and have to have it. I think it’s only wasteful if you buy a cheap item, wear it once, then toss it. I most certainly don’t think of this sweatshirt as disposable. I mean THOSE SLEEVES. They make me feel like I’m about to sign the Declaration of Independence with my fellow founding fathers. Ya know, if the founding fathers of this country were extra sassy and into pink crop tops.

Bitch stole my look:

November Favorites: Ruffle Sleeved Sweatshirt

Favorite Eats

Le Diplomate (D.C.)

I went out for a great dinner at Le Diplomate with everyone working on the Hyatt Place project. Sadly didn’t get a chance to obnoxiously take a picture of my food at dinner (#bloggerproblems) but I ordered the Vegetable Tagine, which was a delicious plant-based dish.

CAVA (D.C.)

November favorites: CAVA mezze grillCAVA came recommended by several of you on Instagram as a delicious fast-casual food option in D.C. (Thank you for all the recs! I wrote down the ones I didn’t get to and am saving the list for my next visit. :)) I voluntarily went through security at the airport twice so that I could go to a gate that wasn’t mine to eat it for lunch before my flight and it was 100% worth it. It’s a similar concept to Dig Inn in that you get to create your own meal from their assembly line of delicious ingredients. I’m obsessed and word on the street is that they’re coming to Boston soon (!!).

Caramel Sea Salt Larabar Bites

November Favorites: Larabar Salted Caramel BitesThese are amazing—they’re like a bite-sized dessert version of a Larabar. In fact, I hid the bag in my dresser so I wouldn’t have to share them with Joe (#truelove).

Breakfast Toasts at Explorateur

November Favorites: Explorateur
I had brunch at Explorateur the other weekend and got their avocado toast AND almond butter toast (#YOLO) and both were so delicious! The cafe/restaurant is a really cool space—it’s a big open floor plan with a mix of cafe seating and traditional table dining and then a library area with a bar off to the side. Definitely worth checking out for a meal if you’re in Boston!

Bar Verde (NYC)

November Favorites: Bar VerdeI spent a weekend in NYC this month and had the best dinner with my college friends! Bar Verde has a plant-based Mexican menu with delicious cocktails. Don’t let my crappy cell phone photo of the food fool you—it was all delicious.

Gobble Gobble Sandwich at By Chloe

November Favorites: Gobble Gobble Sandwich at By Chloe

By Chloe hosted a blogger dinner to celebrate their seasonal Gobble Gobble sandwich (think Thanksgiving leftovers but vegan) and it’s so good!

Brussels Spout Sandwich at Clover

November Favorites: Brussle Sprout Sandwich at Clover

Brussles sprout season is only three weeks this year in Massachusetts because of the warm early fall we had, so for a *very* limited time, Clover Food Labs is serving up this Brussels Sprout Sandwich—hurry in, you don’t want to miss it! So good.

Favorite Workouts

Solidcore (D.C.)

November Favorites: SolidcoreAny time I travel, I try to locate a workout studio similar to Btone. Not just because I love the fitness method, but because I learn *so* much from other instructors and different studio styles. I really credit most of my development as an instructor to being a student, and I can’t explain how much I relish the opportunity to try out different trainers and studios.

Solidcore has several locations in the D.C. area (and is expanding throughout the country as well). I went to their new Navy Yard location because they were having an insane special where new clients got their first class for $4 (yes, please!). Loren was the instructor and she kicked my butt. Such a killer class!

Favorite Things I Watched

Stranger Things 2 | *spoiler alert ahead, so stop reading now if you haven’t watched the full second season* Ok, I really enjoy Stranger Things but it’s not an excellent show. I can’t put my finger on it—maybe the writing? Does anyone else feel this way? This season, a few things irked me:

  • Mike and Eleven are wayyyy too in love. They’re kids! Sure, I had some serious crushes at that age (Devon Sawa and Jonathan Taylor Thomas 4eva), but the way those characters act about being apart from each other is way too adult. Lucas and Dustin’s crushes on Max? So cute and age-appropriate. Mike and Eleven? Totally weirds me out. Anyone else?!
  • The entire story line about Eleven going to meet up with her sister and turning all “bad” for a couple days. What was the point of that?! I like that we got to learn the backstory of her mom, but the sister and her punk friends did nothing for me.
  • Why did Bob have to die?! This has nothing to do with the quality of the series, I just really liked Bob. Such a nice guy and would have been a great stepdad. I get it, Winona has to eventually end up with Hopper in a future season, but R.I.P. Bob.

Elizabeth Smart Autobiography | Anyone else watch this? It was on A&E I believe. I remember hearing the name Elizabeth Smart over and over on the news but was a little too young to care about all the details when it happened. Such a crazy story! Even the way Elizabeth Smart narrated the show was creepy—it was like she was an actress retelling it and would do this weird smile-smirk expression as if she was really into this gruesome kidnapping fictional story she was reading. NO JUDGEMENT. What she went through was absolute trauma—who the hell am I to determine how someone should act after going through that? But her demeanor in the TV special definitely adds to the bizarre story and prompted Joe and I to Google conspiracy theories about her actually being a voluntary runaway which are totally bogus I’m sure but a good way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon (lol).

Favorite Moments

A Work Trip to D.C.

November favorites: Hyatt Place Hotel DC

wearing Zella leggings (currently on sale 40% off!), Gap tank & adidas sneakers

I’ve been working on a project with Hyatt Place hotels for several months now and in early November traveled to D.C. to film all the content (I’ll of course share more when things are finalized!). It was a physically demanding trip for sure (10 workouts in two days) but there’s really no type of work I’d rather be doing.

I had some time between the shoots to be a tourist in D.C. and made sure to walk the National Mall, checking out all the famous monuments and taking some pics along the way (naturally). November Favorites: Washington Monument, D.C.

photo by Nick Cosky // wearing Spiritual Gangster tank (old but this version and this version are the same cut) & Koral leggings

Before heading to the airport, I had time to visit one of the countless museums in the area, and although it was a tough decision, I went with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. I think I was the only adult in there not accompanied by 1-20 school-age children, but I LOVED it. Hard to pick a favorite exhibit but I thought the evolution of man section was particularly cool and the minerals and gem stones were pretty crazy, too.

Hosting My First Thanksgiving

November Favorites: Thanksgiving Dinner

Usually Joe and I travel to either his Mom’s house in New Jersey or my parents’ on the Vineyard for Thanksgiving. I’ve never been responsible for *any* of the cooking and might as well still be sitting at the kid’s table. This year, however, we decided to have our families to our place in Boston. Cooking and cleaning became my full-time job for a few days there, but it was actually pretty fun and everyone loved the meal. I could get used to this whole hostess gig! 😉

On the menu:

  • Roasted Butternut Squash Soup from Cookie + Kate
  • Vegan Mashed Potatoes from Minimalist Baker
  • Sweet Potato Casserole twist—I cut the potatoes into rounds instead of mashing and topped with a crushed pecan, brown sugar, cinnamon and vegan butter crumble.
  • Instead of stuffing I did wild rice mixed with sautéed mushrooms and onions and a sage, rosemary, thyme spice mix.
  • The biggest hit was stuffed acorn squash. I filled roasted acorn squash halves with farro, roasted chickpeas and lots of other fall flavors. I’ll post the recipe to the blog soon!

Joe’s mom helped me cook the turkey the day of, and my mom brought the cranberry sauce and dessert. I think we’ve officially started a new Thanksgiving tradition!

Time Capsule

I’ve been doing these monthly favorites for so long now! It’s fun to look back at what I was digging this time last year and even two years ago.

Thoughts on this season of Stranger Things? Did you host or travel for Thanksgiving? What were some of your favorites from the month?

My monthly favorites posts are never sponsored, however they typically contain a few affiliate links. I get sent a lot of free products, and the first section of this post might highlight a couple of my favorites. I’m never required to or being paid to feature these freebies and only share the ones I truly love and think my readers will enjoy as well.

My Favorite Things: October

Happy Friday! A few days late on this, but let’s round up my favorites from October.

Favorite Products & Services

Coola Sunless Tanner Products

It’s moments like this when I really wish I could blog in emojis. I need the hallelujah jazz hands emoji and the sassy hand-flip girl emoji with tan skin. 

After an event I co-hosted at Credo, I was gifted two organic sunless tanning products from Coola with which I am now OBSESSED. The Sunless Tan Dry Oil Mist is super easy to apply. I mist a thin layer over one body part at a time and then rub it in before bed. I usually can’t stand the smell of sunless tanner but this product is super mild. The next morning I have a natural looking glow. So easy! The Sunless Tan Anti-Aging Face Serum builds gradually. You can apply a couple drops in your regular face lotion or just apply it like you would any other serum. I put it on before bed a few days in a row and then have the perfect color. It’s November in Boston—I’m not trying to look like I just got back from the Caribbean—so I love that these products are so gradual and easy to control.

Credo is actually having their Friends & Family sale this weekend so you can take 20% off these products (and their entire website of clean beauty products)! Use the code CREDOFAM at checkout.

Reebok Oversized Crew Neck Sweatshirt

This sweatshirt is so cozy! I got it during a photoshoot the other weekend and have been wearing it nonstop ever since. It looks really good paired with tight leggings and has become my go-to when walking to and from the studio to teach. Joe calls me Kayne West when I wear it because it has the oversized look of his Yeezy clothing line (lol).

Favorite Workouts

Barry’s with Friends

with Blair & Ana

In October, Barry’s Bootcamp did a special where you could get a free class for bringing in a new client. I loved getting to exploit my friends for free workouts! 😉

Aerial Yoga at Swet Studio

I finally tried aerial yoga this month! I took two classes at Swet Studio in the South End: their First Time Riders intro class and then their Restore class. The intro class was a good introduction to the silks, and while there is a lot of standing around and instruction, you get to come into some great positions and finish the class by going upside down. Hanging upside down on the silks feels AMAZING. It’s the sweetest relief for my neck and I’m seriously craving the next time I can do it again.

For the Restore class, the silks hang low towards the floor and you are laying down most the time and it’s so incredibly relaxing. I will definitely be back and can’t wait to try their regular aerial class as well.

25-Minute Lower Body Circuit Workout

25-Minute Circuit Workout with Cardio Blasts: Butt & LegsIf you missed the workout I posted last week, be sure to check it out! The reviews are coming in and seems like you all love it (glad I’m not the only one who got my ass kicked by this one!). 😉

Favorite Things I Watched

American Vandal | This Netflix series making fun of all the true crime documentaries that are so popular these days is HILARIOUS. Joe and I finished it in just two days because we couldn’t stop watching. The Dylan Maxwell and Alex Trimboli characters KILLED ME. Ahhh it’s so good, just watch it.

How to Fix Rounded Shoulders | This is a great YouTube video on fixing rounded shoulders and improving posture. It’s something I’m currently working on myself!

Favorite Moments

Long Weekend in Maine

I spent a long weekend up in Rangeley at my parents’ home and it was a much-needed dose of nature. We went leaf peepin’ on the lake, walked through the woods, fed the birds and relaxed. I posted more pics on my Insta if you’re interested.

Reebok Photoshoots

with Blair, Sarah & my Btone fam

I got the chance to do not one but two awesome photoshoots with Reebok. The first was around the Seaport and the second was at Btone. So grateful for Reebok including me!

Halloween

I kinda threw in the towel on a costume this year and just grabbed some stuff from Forever21 and called myself a hippie. Joe put a little more effort into his Riff Raff costume (side note: very proud of my braiding skills). Not as good as our Napoleon and Pedro costume last year, but still a fun time with friends!

My monthly favorites posts are never sponsored, however they typically contain a few affiliate links. I get sent a lot of free products, and the first section of this post might highlight a couple of my favorites. I’m never required to or being paid to feature these freebies and only share the ones I truly love and think my readers will enjoy as well.

My Favorite Things: September

My Favorite Things: SeptemberLike many of you, I spent yesterday morning watching the news with a heavy, broken heart. Deep sadness for the victims and their loved ones, frustration that these horrific acts of violence continuously occur—there’s a swelling of emotion surrounding events like this that make hitting the publish button on a “my favorite things” blog post seem trivial and even inappropriate.

And in a way, I’m glad I feel uncomfortable posting regularly scheduled content. I hope the day never comes that I/we are so desensitized to this type of brutality that we simply go about business as usual without any thought. There’s no “right” way to respond to something that is so wrong, but I think responding in some way (privately or publicly) is important.

Sharing kind words, prayers or a favorite quote on social media are certainly sweet and unifying gestures. If you’re like me and want to put action behind those words from afar, donating what you can to the Las Vegas Victims Fund is a small way in which to help. Of course there are larger national issues at play which contribute to the frequency and occurrence of these events, and working to make the changes necessary to prevent these tragedies in the future is the most significant way in which we as a country can take action.

I certainly don’t mean to imply an hierarchy of tragedy by taking the time to talk about Las Vegas today while responding in private to other recent natural disasters and acts of violence. Moving forward, I’ll share links to the charitable organizations to which I donate if you guys would find that helpful in getting involved. 100% of the proceeds from Unidos Por Puerto Rico go to hurricane relief in Puerto Rico, while we’re on the topic.

Sending lots of love to all those affected by these tragedies.

____________________

My Favorite Things: September

Favorite Products + Services

Hubway

I believe it was Maya Angelou who once said, “The best gifts for others are those which you actually buy for your own selfish benefit.”

So for Joe’s birthday this past summer, I bought him an annual Hubway membership so that he could ride to and from his office (our old apartment was just a little too far for him to comfortably walk). Welp, we ended up moving literally right around the corner from his office, so I took the Hubway pass back from him and now use it myself to get to Btone in the morning. Best gift ever or what?!?!

Ok so maybe I owe him another birthday gift, but jokes aside, Hubway is making my life so much easier. I don’t feel safe riding bikes in the city during busy times, so I only use it at 5:30AM when I need to get to the studio to teach, but it’s still a GAME CHANGER.

Thrive

I’m late in hopping on the Thrive train, but love the service now. Basically you pay a yearly membership fee ($59.95) and can then shop healthy foods and natural products at 25-50% off retail prices. It’s great for pantry bulk items and snacks, but I actually use it most for household and skincare/beauty products.

I was so excited to see they offer Aura Cacia essential oils, and that alone makes the Thrive membership fee worth it for me right now. With my aromatherapy certification, I was given small vials of all the essential oils I’d need, but as I progress through the course and want to experiment with more blends, I find myself purchasing a lot of oils.

As a bonus to Thrive, when you join, you are also sponsoring a free membership for a low-income family. Love that! You can get an additional 25% off your first order and free shipping if you sign up using my affiliate link.

Ionic Clay Mask from Botanics

I was gifted a few Botanics products and am a big fan of this Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask. I have naturally oily skin and like to do a clay mask once or even twice a week.

Favorite Eats

Lantana Sriracha Carrot Hummus

This might sound a little odd but OMG is it good! Lantana has a bunch of fun hummus blends (I also really like their Edamame Hummus), but Sriracha Carrot is topping my list of favorites right now.

Fudgy Chai Blender Muffins

These fudgy chai blender muffins are vegan and gluten-free. Make them with or without a vanilla glaze.

Obsessed with the fudgy chai blender muffin recipe I shared here a couple weeks ago! If you haven’t made them yet, get on it. 🙂

Favorite Things I…

Watched

  • The SinnerThis is an 8-part mini series on USA with Jessica Beil that everyone seems to be talking about, and if you haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend it as your next binge. I couldn’t stop watching, but was a bit disappointed with the ending—anyone else?! I don’t want to give any spoilers so I won’t go into detail on my opinions but the ending left me feeling like, “Wait, what. That’s what happened?! Meh.”
  • The Vietnam War | This 10-part series by Ken Burns on PBS is so good! Joe and I love any sort of historical documentary, but his dad actually fought in Vietnam so this era is always of particular interest.
  • Foo Fighters: Back and ForthI don’t even particularly love Foo Fighters music, but found this Netflix documentary on the band super interesting. I’m always blown away by how talented some musicians are. For Dave Grohl (<–I originally published this accidentally writing “Anthony Kiedis,” who is incredibly talented as well but is definitely not in the Foo Fighters lol) to play drums in Nirvana and then switch to singing and guitar in Foo Fighters—maybe it’s just because I’m personally tone deaf but that diversity of musical talent always just blows my mind. Speaking of talented musicians, the Lady Gaga documentary on Netflix was good, too, but not what I expected. Takeaways from Five Foot Two: Lady Gaga is extremely talented; she’s extremely driven to work as hard as she does despite the pain she’s in; and she smokes a sh*t ton of weed. 😉

Listened to

  • Casefile True Crime Podcast – Jonestown Episodes | I’m new to this podcast and have only listened to their most recent three-part series on Jonestown so far, but loved it. I knew the general story of the Jonestown mass suicide/murder, but this went deep into the background, showing the evolution (devolution is more like it) of Jim Jones from childhood till the end. Fascinating and horrifying.
  • The Morning Breath PodcastThe Morning Breath is Claudia Oshry (the girl behind the @girlwithnojob Instagram meme account) and her sister Jackie talking about the “fast five” entertainment news stories of the day. It’s a guilty pleasure for sure (lots of reality TV talk) but I find it hilarious. Some episodes I literally laugh out loud while walking down the street.
  • Tom Petty | I couldn’t love Tom Petty’s music more and was so sad to hear of his passing. Spotify has a tribute playlist of all his music that you can listen to here. It’s hard to pick favorites because he has so many legendary songs, but Mary Jane’s Last Dance will always top my list. Reminds me of summers on the Vineyard growing up, driving around with the windows down. RIP TP.

Favorite Moments

Tone It Up Tour & Meeting Jillian Michaels

I had so much fun at the Tone It Up Tour event in Boston early this month. So fun getting to meet Katrina & Karena and Jillian Michaels, and after three 30-minute workouts (CorePower Yoga, Jillian, TIU) celebrated with some rosé and hair braiding. Yes, that makes it sound like a Basic Bitch Convention but whatever, I love that shit. 😉 #basicandproud

Sublime with Rome & The Offspring Concert


Joe and I went to see Sublime with Rome and The Offspring at The Blue Hills Bank Pavilion and talk about a throwback for this 90’s kid! Brought me right back to my childhood. So much fun!

Favorite Follow

  • @rogermathewsnj | Big shoutout to Ashley for turning me on to the hilarity that is JWoww’s husband on Instagram. If you’re easily offended, he may not be for you, but otherwise, drop what you’re doing and follow him. It’s a lot of poking fun at himself, married life, raising kids.

If you guys have other recommendations for hilarious and borderline inappropriate people to follow on Instagram, please share. I’m at my max capacity of inspirational quotes, I need more funny in my feed!

My monthly favorites posts are never sponsored, however they typically contain a few affiliate links. I get sent a lot of free products, and the first section of this post might highlight a couple of my favorites. I’m never required to or being paid to feature these freebies and only share the ones I truly love and think my readers will enjoy as well.