My Favorite Things: February

Hey friends! I’m taking this week off from teaching and it’s had the summer vacation effect on me–I seriously have no clue what day of the week it is. I wake up all disorientated thinking I slept through an alarm, unsure if it’s the weekend or a week day, and I had to check my calendar to make sure that February is in fact ending and it’s time for my monthly roundup of favorites. Yes on both accounts, so here we go …

Favorite Products/Services

Crane & Lion Leggings

On Valentine’s Day, Crane & Lion surprised my last Btone class of the morning with free leggings (so generous!). I got their Capri Tight and love the detail on the back of the calf. The color I’m wearing isn’t available online, but a bunch of the other colors are on sale for $44 (down from $90).

MiniLuxe Performance Polish

I actually think painting my own nails is relaxing so I only get professional manicures on occasion, one such occasion being before Boston Winter Ball at the start of the month. I got MiniLuxe’s Performance Polish Manicure and am kicking myself for not knowing about it sooner. The polish is as durable as gel but comes off with regular nail polish remover. Mine lasted three weeks without chipping and when I wanted to take it off my nails underneath weren’t ruined like with gel. Yassss honey!

NorthernDrops Photo Backdrops

I heard about this Etsy shop from Julie’s blog and highly recommend it to any fellow bloggers! I usually just shoot food and small products on my white desk because I love the clean look of the photos, but I wanted some options for recipes. I don’t have a marble countertop located by a window, nor do I have the space to store a marble slab, so these paper prints are perfect! I went with a white marble and two different gray wood prints (they’re poster material) but there are tons of backdrop prints to choose from in the store. You can pick different sizes and the 22″ x 22″ ones that I got were only $9. Love that I can just roll them back up and tuck them away when I’m done shooting.

Favorite Workouts

Booty By Brabants Charity Class for Unicef

A post shared by baddie dae (@baddiedae) on


‘Tis the season for Boston Marathon fitness fundraisers! After experiencing the stress and misery of fundraising when I ran last year (some people are cut out for fundraising–I am not one of those people), it is really important to me that I support those doing it this year as best I can. Last weekend I went to a Booty By Brabants class (so fun!!) benefiting @baddiedae‘s marathon charity. I’m also going to be teaching a couple charity classes at Btone for other runners–I’ll keep you guys posted on the details of those if any local readers want to come! 🙂

Favorite Eats

by CHLOE

PUMPED by CHLOE came to Boston to serve up its vegan deliciousness! They had a media preview a couple nights before it officially opened and I got to sample a bunch of their menu items–everything was delicious (the sweet potato mac and cheese OMG). The Seaport area is exploding with new development and by CHLOE is located next to a new SoulCycle and Juice Press–what is this, New York?! 😉

Birch Benders Protein Pancakes Mix

I was sent samples of Birch Benders pancake mixes (protein, paleo and gluten-free versions) and Joe and I LOVED them–they’re so good! As far as taste goes, there isn’t a huge difference between the three, but if I had to pick, I think the protein was the favorite in our apartment. All you have to do is add water before cooking. Easy peasy.

Favorite Things I…

Watched

  • Jamesy Boy | This movie got terrible reviews but I enjoyed it. It’s based on the true story of a kid who was going down the wrong path, ends up in jail, and eventually turns his life around. The production quality isn’t stellar but it’s a really sweet story. Look for it on Netflix.
  • 30 Rock | How am I just now watching 30 Rock?! I’ve finally crawled out from under my rock (pun intended) and thank goodness because this show is hysterical. Joe and I binge watched the first season this past weekend and it makes me so happy to think I still have six seasons waiting for me. Dr. Spaceman?! I can’t. If you’re like me and jump into shows 2-10 years after they were popular then you MUST start 30 Rock. It’s on Netflix.
  • Janis: Little Girl Blue | This is another Netflix find. It’s a documentary on Janis Joplin’s life.

Read

  • [BOOK] Narconomics: How to Run a Drug Cartel by Tom Wainwright | You guys are probably like WTF is up with your choice in books. As you can tell by these monthly roundups, I’m obsessed with murder mysteries and anything involving organized crime, and it’s been that way since I was a little kid (The Boxcar Children started it all). Narconomics goes into the economics of illegal drug trade, speaking about it using the same business terms you’d apply to a Fortune 500 company. I particularly enjoyed the parts of the book where he talks about potential solutions to the drug problem in this and other countries and the complicated challenges in actually executing such strategies.
  • [BLOG] You Are More Than a Meal Plan via Hummusapien | Measured meal plans and counting calories and macros can be a great help when starting a weight loss journey, healing gut issues, or in meeting specific high-level performance goals, and if they work for you, that’s awesome. But when tracking everything you put in your body becomes an obsession, you need to take a step back and change your approach.
  • [BLOG] The Later Blog | If you’re a blogger or work in marketing, I’d check out Later’s blog. Later is a platform for scheduling Instagram posts, so some of their posts are self-promoting (as would be expected), but I always enjoy reading their insights on the social network–some really helpful strategy stuff!

Listened To

  • [PODCAST] Up and Vanished | If you loved the first season of Serial, you need to listen to Up and Vanished. I’m only five episodes in but I’m obsessed. It looks into the unsolved disappearance of a Georgia woman and if any of you have listened to it, I need to know your thoughts in the comments! Right now I think the ex-boyfriend Marcus killed her but again, I’m only a few episodes in.
  • [PODCAST] Missing Richard Simmons | I’m conflicted about this podcast. I had heard things here and there about Richard Simmons disappearing from the public eye a few years ago but hadn’t thought much about it … until now. This podcast looks into the mysterious way he just cut himself off from even his closest friends and the more the guy digs into it, the stranger it seems. I will say, it’s a very captivating podcast, but I also find it sad. It seems in Richard Simmons there is a bit of the Robin Williams factor–the enigmatic entertainer who puts a smile on everyone’s face while inside they deal with deep sadness. And part of me feels like by listening to it, I’m only perpetuating that and being entertained by someone else’s struggle.

Favorite Moments

Boston Winter Ball Weekend

The Boston Winter Ball is an annual event started by Joe’s friends that benefits the Corey C. Griffin Foundation and it’s an absolute blast every year. 

The dress I wore is Elle Zeitoune and also comes in black. I’m obsessed with it. The slit is high so I wouldn’t recommend wearing it to a wedding or anything but if you have a fun formal event on the calendar, it’s worth the splurge! Shoes are Steve Madden.

Watching the Super Bowl

I grew up in Massachusetts so I’m a Pats fan by default, but I’m not going to pretend like I watch every game and am all invested in the season–quite the opposite. Even given my disinterest in football though–holy sh*t THAT GAME WAS CRAZY.

New Jersey Weekend

Joe and I spent President’s Day weekend down in New Jersey for his nephew’s 8th birthday and we lucked out with the best weather for entertaining three kids. We went to playgrounds, the boardwalk, and got in some highly competitive games of hide and seek in the back yard (don’t want to brag or anything but I had the best hiding spot E-V-E-R).

Starting an Aromatherapy Certification Program

If you’re an OG blog reader, you might remember me talking about studying essential oils and aromatherapy over a year ago. Life continually got in the way of starting a certification program back when I first planned but I am SO EXCITED to be able to say I’m officially enrolled with the Institute of Integrative Aromatherapy (I’ll talk much more about why I chose this program, etc., etc. in future blog posts). I don’t really set New Year’s resolutions, but I went into 2017 wanting to focus on education and learning more in this ever expanding field of wellness. I can’t wait to share my new expertise with you guys! It’s a self-paced course that I plan to complete in five-six months.

What made the highlight reel for you in February? Any other Up and Vanished listeners out there?? 

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: January

How precious is my parents’ dog with his little head through a wreath?! Since I didn’t do one of these roundups for December (hot damn was Dec a wash for me haha), I’ve got a jumbo-sized edition of Favorite Things for you today that includes the last two months.

Favorite Products/Services

The Vegetarian Flavor Bible

If you love to cook but often feel like you have no clue what you’re doing *raises hand*, I highly recommend The Vegetarian Flavor Bible (carnivore friends, check out The Flavor Bible). It’s an exhaustive guide to creating new dishes and flavor combinations that actually work. Similar to an encyclopedia, you look up an ingredient, cuisine, etc. and it will give you all the information you need on it, including a list of other ingredients that pair well. I’ve found it SO helpful in creating new recipes for the blog! When it comes to seasoning, sauces and dressings, I’m not the most confident chef so this book has seriously become my best friend in the kitchen.

The Squatty Potty

I’ll spare you the details, but I love this thing. After hearing friends rave about their Squatty Potty for months, I finally bought one and it 100% lives up to the hype. I do wish I’d splurged for the wooden one though. Having the white plastic one around the base of our toilet kinda makes me feel like I’m in a nursing home for some reason. Oh well, still love it.

Release Your Anger Swear Words Adult Coloring Book

Eager to get on board with this whole trendy adult coloring book craze, I searched on Amazon and stumbled across one that truly spoke to my soul. The Release Your Anger Coloring Book complete with 40 swear words. *Adds to cart*

My only complaint is that sonofabitch isn’t one of the words. I mutter that under my breath easily 20 times a day and feel like it would really get my artistic juices flowing.

Favorite Workouts

C2 Grand Opening Class at CorePower Yoga Ink Block

img_6112

CorePower recently opened a new location in Ink Block (a short walk from my apartment–yay!) and I was invited to their grand opening celebration class. It was their C2 format and wow ok maybe should have read the class description beforehand. Like a total asshole I wore thick, long black leggings not realizing it was hot yoga. And fast-paced hot yoga at that. Whoops. But I LOVED the yoga class. Will definitely be back! They’re not on ClassPass (yet) but the other CorePower studios are.

305 Fitness


So. Much. Fun. I was a little nervous to try a 305 Fitness class because while I’m not a bad dancer, I’m not, like, oh ya know, good. Didn’t matter–seriously so fun I didn’t even have time to feel self-conscious. And damn do you sweat! Picture you and your best friends drunk at a night club dancing. That’s 305. Loved it and can’t wait to go back!

Recycle Influencer Event

Recycle invited a bunch of local bloggers and Instagrammers to a class followed by green juice, snacks and bubbly this past Saturday. I’ve been a huge fan of Recycle classes for years now, but this is the first time I took one of John’s classes–he’s so entertaining! The great thing about Recycle is that they have a really consistent product. I rarely look at who’s teaching but rather just sign up when it’s convenient because I know it’ll be a good workout regardless. Quality class + John’s hilarious commentary = perfect Saturday spin.

Favorite Eats

Easy 30-Minute Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup from Averie Cooks

Easy 30-Minute Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup from Averie CooksEven though I don’t eat chicken anymore, I still cook it for Joe occasionally and when he got a nasty case of the flu early in the month he requested some chicken noodle soup. I found this recipe on Pinterest and Joe loved it! I used rotisserie chicken from the hot bar at Whole Foods because I’m lazy/raw meat grosses me out sometimes and it worked perfectly!

Roasted Cauliflower Hummus from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

If you guys don’t already follow Lexi’s Clean Kitchen, you’re missing out on some seriously mouthwatering recipes and food photography. I made this roasted cauliflower hummus from her cook book the other week and loved it. If you’re short on chickpeas or just looking for a bean-less hummus this is an awesome recipe.

Favorite Things I…

Read

  • My 6 Month CrossFit Transformation Isn’t What I Thought It’d Be via PopSugar | It’s vitally important to avoid basing transformation solely on appearance. Loved this article!
  • What’s Healthier Than Following Fitness Gurus on Social Media? Unfollowing Them. via Greatist | Might seem weird that I’m posting this given I’m a fitness blogger and my job depends on people following me, but replace “fitness guru” with “bendy yogi” and I 100% relate to the article. I have a weird addiction to following insta-famous yoga girls and I do catch myself feeling like I should be able to do these insane inversions and contortions, or at least be striving to do so. I have to take a step back and remind myself that the cool bendy poses I see on social media aren’t the reason I love practicing yoga.

Listened To

I was on an Audible kick this month!

  • [Audio Book] The Good Neighbor by AJ Banner | This is like Gone Girl. Not as good as Gone Girl, but similar idea and made for an engaging listen. In book format, it’d be a perfect quick beach read this summer.
  • [Audio Book] The Crime Writer by Gregg Hurwitz | I mentioned this in my day in the life post last week. It’s about a crime writer who wakes up covered in blood accused of murder without any memory of the night. So he then has to try to figure out what happened to prove his innocence. At times it’s a bit ridiculous (brain tumors, amnesia, etc.) but I really liked the ending–didn’t see it coming!
  • [Audio Book] A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny | I mentioned the first of the Chief Inspector Gamache books in a previous post–this is the second. I wasn’t crazy about the first but a reader actually left a comment urging me not to abandon the series (thank you!) and I’m glad I took the advice. The character development is so good in this book–I just love the cast of personalities! I was worried going from reading the first book to listening to the second would throw off the vision I had created, but it didn’t much at all.
  • [Podcast] Navy SEAL David Goggins Is The Toughest Athlete on Earth – The Rich Roll Podcast | I shared this podcast episode on my Facebook page but it’s worth posting here as well. They talk about accountability, ditching the “poor me” attitude, and the importance of your mentality in achieving goals. I love the no-nonsense delivery and his emphasis on getting to know yourself and finding your truth.
  • [Song] Mr. Watson (BKAYE Remix) – Cruel Youth | Obsessed with this song. Like I literally just put it on repeat all day. All. Day.

Favorite Moments

Playing Bite the Bag with my Family at Christmas

Highlight of Christmas has to be playing Bite the Bag–have you guys heard of this absurd(ly awesome) game?? You take a paper bag and cut off the top and then everyone tries to pick it up off the floor with their mouth. At the end of each round you cut off another inch or so from the top and try again. My mom came out of nowhere and won and I laughed so hard I thought I was going to throw up watching it happen. I’d post a picture, but she’d probably kill me. 😉

Getting My First Tattoo

One of my Christmas gifts from Joe this year was an appointment with a tattoo artist. I’ve wanted an ellipsis for a long time and decided to get it on my lower forearm/wrist. Why an ellipsis? I love its use in writing. It allows you to omit superfluous words that aren’t needed for the phrase/sentence to be understood. Cut out the fluff; focus on what’s really meaningful. Not a bad idea to live by, huh? 🙂 My brother and I also have a line of three freckles in the exact same spot on our left cheek so the dot dot dot has a double meaning for me. 

Terez sweater (old, but this one by them is cute, too)

It’s super simple, but I absolutely love it–every time I catch a glimpse in the mirror it makes me happy. And I’m already dying to get another one!

What were some highlights for you in January?

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: November

My Favorite Things: NovemberHappy Hump Day! My plan for today was to shoot a couple upper body workouts after teaching but I am so sore from a boxing class I took yesterday that I’m not even confident I’d be able to brush my hair at this point. Post writing and email answering, it is!

Favorite Products

Videography Lights

img_5951Best $100 I’ve ever spent for the blog. I bought this Studio Softbox Lighting Kit so that even when I’m short on natural lighting I can shoot workout videos and pictures for the blog and my YouTube channel. I love that you can fold them down when you’re done using them because I have a one-bedroom apartment and am tight on space (one of the reasons I’ve always hesitated to buy professional lighting). Ok BRB gonna go make out with my lights.

HotelTonight App

Joe and I made an impromptu trip to NYC to see our Australian friends who let us crash with them while traveling through Sydney (recap of that trip here and here). We used the HotelTonight app to book a last-minute room at the Gansevoort for only $200 (rooms there for a Saturday night are typically around $600–hellz no). Such a good deal!

Favorite Workouts

Strength Training Class with MegaFood

I traveled to New Hampshire earlier this month to teach a group fitness class for the MegaFood crew–so much fun!

Bodyweight Superset Pyramids Workout

This was my favorite workout I posted to the blog this month. If you don’t have time to do the entire workout, just do the first superset–it’s definitely the hardest one.

Megaformer Class at Coastal Core in Belmar, NJ

Coastal Core

This is my second time taking a megaformer class at Coastal Core while visiting Joe’s fam in New Jersey and it was awesome! Challenging and the instructor, Lawrence, was great with form adjustments. Joe and I were dying by the end (in a good way). 😉

Favorite Eats

Dig Inn

dig-inn-avo-toast

I could eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at Dig Inn every day. And it’s dangerously close to Btone…

Gourmet China House

china-house-gourmet

Gourmet China House is my jam. Joe and I usually split the Chilled Pickled Cucumbers with Garlic and the Cauliflower Clay Pot. The cauliflower dish is not for the faint of heart (so hot) but if you live for spice, you must order it next time you’re in Chinatown. Joe usually starts profusely sweating about halfway into the meal but it’s so good you just can’t stop eating.

Thanksgiving Dinner

thanksgivingdinnerJoe’s mom makes the best Thanksgiving food! I don’t like turkey so I just load up on the sides (especially her sweet potato dish). She always raves about the Moosewood cookbooks and after this year I think I’m finally going to buy one. You might think that as a blogger I’d cook Thanksgiving myself or at least contribute one photo-friendly side dish but honestly I do nothing. The adultier adults do all the cooking while I jump on the trampoline with my eight-year-old nephew. I help clean (I’m not a barbarian!) but, yup, that’s about it.

Favorite Things I …

Read

  • Hillbilly Elegy | I loved this book! I read it in the wake of the election after this interview with the author was recommended to me by a friend, but even if you have absolutely no interest in politics it’s worth a read. It does paint a critically compassionate (if that’s a thing?) picture of the current state of affairs for the white working-class, but it’s also a colorful memoir filled with flawed, endearing characters. Add it to your reading list!
  • Catch 22 | This is one of my all-time favorite books. So much so that every few years I re-read it. When I was at my parent’s house this month, I spotted my copy buried in my childhood closet and dove right back in. Reading/re-reading classics always makes me nostalgic for my English major days and writing analytical essays. Nostalgia for essay writing … probably should have kept that sentiment to myself (haha).

Listened To

  • Crimetown PodcastThere are only three episodes of this new podcast out so far but I’m hooked. Each season chronicles the history of crime in a different US city, with the first season focusing on Providence, RI. If you love history and are as fascinated by the mob as I am, you will LOVE this podcast. So well done and entertaining.
  • Tove Lo’s newest album | Ok, I admit that all of Tove Lo’s songs kinda sound the same–literally every one is about being drunk/high and in a bad relationship. But I just love her voice–so soothing. Her album Lady Wood has been on repeat for my work days lately.

Watched

  • Friday Night Lights | I know I’m late to the game, but I just started watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix and I’m OBSESSED. The first episode kinda threw me off–a spinal cord injury within the first 20 minutes of the series?? Chill out. I can’t even remember anyone’s name yet. But I stuck it out into episode two and now I’m in a full-blown binge. Side note: You know you’re getting old when you have a crush on the coach instead of the football players … (LOL).
  • Game Changers | Joe found this documentary series on hulu, which features a different business leader or entrepreneur each episode–the creators of Craigslist, Mark Cuban, Warren Buffet, Twitter, Anna Wintour, John Stewart, the list goes on. I find it so interesting!
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid | We watched the first movie from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series with our nephews and niece over Thanksgiving and I think I might have even enjoyed it more than the kids–so cute and funny!

Favorite Moments

24 Hours on the Vineyard

img_5928

My Dad is helping me sell my car (a relief but also sad–I’ve had it since I was 16!) so I drove it home to the Vineyard and got to spend the day with my parents. Since I’d be with Joe’s family for Thanksgiving it was great to be able to fit in the visit.

Visiting Grounds for Sculpture in NJ

Grounds for Sculpture - Renoir

This place is the coolest! It’s one part art museum, one part sculpture garden. The sculptures are 3D, life-sized (or larger) recreations of famous paintings and other works of art. If you’re near the Hamilton, NJ area you’ve got to check out Grounds for Sculpture!Grounds for Sculpture Grounds for Sculpture - Renoir

What were some of your favorites from November?

signature

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. 🙂