Instagram Stories Q&A

Despite questioning the validity of blogger/influencer Q&A’s (do they just make up the questions or are people really asking them these things?!) I decided to do just that yesterday. I asked those who follow my Instagram stories if they had any questions and thankfully some of you sent them my way. Oh man that’d be awkward if I didn’t get any questions. I’d either have to 1. Casually pretend I never asked in the first place and hope that no one noticed the lack of blog post with answers or 2. Make up the questions to my own damn Q&A which would be a new low. So shoutout to those who asked questions! My street cred remains in tact.

Instagram Stories Q&A

What do you usually snack on?

When I’m working from home, I have to be careful about the snacking because more often than not, the snack turns into a meal. I’m one step from my kitchen and especially if I’m stressed or working against a deadline that day, I will mindlessly snack All. Day. Long. So for me personally, I find it’s best if I stick to three larger, satisfying meals a day and keep snacking to a minimum. That being said, I listen to my body first and foremost and if I’m hungry between meals, you better believe I’m snacking! Here are some of my favorites:

  • Hummus and baby carrots (I usually put a scoop of hummus on a plate then immediately put the rest of the tub away or else I’ll eat the entire thing in one sitting)
  • Larabars if I’m on the run (Blueberry Muffin is life)
  • Peanut butter banana toast (toast + peanut butter + banana slices + a drizzle of honey and sprinkle of cinnamon if I want something sweet)

Because of the blog, I also get sent a lot of snack samples and will munch on those in between meals (could be anything from popcorn to pistachios to seaweed).

Do you work out daily?

I work out 5-6 days a week (in the summer it’s usually five; the rest of the year usually six). One of those days my workout is filming for YouTube. I’ll shoot 1-2 routines in a day depending on how long they are. The other four-five days are a mix of group fitness classes and maybe a run outside paired with a HIIT workout from my blog. I switch it up and don’t follow a fixed workout schedule. If I had a specific training goal in mind, I might be more precise with it, but right now I’m just training for life and mixing up my workouts—it’s so enjoyable this way!

Between teaching and walking around the city (I walk everywhere and rarely take the T), my days off from working out are still fairly active. That being said, of course there’ll be a lazy Sunday thrown in from time to time where I lay on the couch binge watching Vanderpump Rules and only leave the apartment to get food. 😉

Are you thinking of making any sling trainer (TRX) workouts?

Yes! I want to do the TRX certification course this year (I know how to use them but would like a formal training background before posting workouts). Right now I have to focus on the aromatherapy course I’m doing (OMG I’m so behind on this just typing the word aromatherapy is giving me anxiety) but once that’s completed, I’ll look into TRX training.

Besides Btone/Lagree, what is your favorite workout in the city (Boston)?

So hard to pick just one, but right now I’m really into boxing. I love the Bags x Body class at EverybodyFights (I usually take Shane’s classes at the FiDi location). It’s 40 minutes of bag work with bodyweight exercises in between rounds. Usually the last round is partner work sharing a bag, but otherwise everyone has their own heavy bag. I’ll go to Title by North Station for their Box 60 class as well. Same general idea, but longer stretches hitting the bag. You start with 15 minutes of warming up/bodyweight exercises, go into eight 3-minute rounds of boxing, and then finish with 15 minutes of core work.

There’s definitely a learning curve, and I think it’s fair to say you’ll feel a little lost your first class with the number system and combos (I sure did!), but it’s SO FUN when you start to get the hang of it. Every class I feel like I pick up a tip from the instructor to improve my punches and one more piece of the puzzle clicks, which is the best feeling. Plus beating the sh*t out of something for 40 minutes is a whole new mode of therapy I never knew I needed (LOL).

Tell us about your boo. How did you two meet?

The large blonde man I’m hugging in all my Instagrams is Joe. He grew up on the Jersey Shore and hockey brought him up to Boston College. After college he got a job in Boston and has been here since. I went to college at UNC: Chapel Hill and while I loved it there, I soooo do not belong in the south. I hightailed it back home to New England after college and settled in Boston. A couple years later, I met Joe through a mutual friend (she had spent a summer on the Vineyard in college and we worked at the same restaurant and always remained friends).

One night in 2012 she texted me asking if I wanted to go with her to her friend’s place (Joe) for a few drinks before heading out to a bar. At 24 it didn’t take much to convince me to go out so we headed over to Joe’s apartment. If you had told me that night that I would one day be LIVING in THAT apartment WITH HIM I would have laughed in your face. No. Fucking. Way.

We walked into the strangest, messiest studio apartment I had ever seen in my life. The walls were a dark paneled wood and heavy red velvet curtains hung over the windows. In one corner there was a naked mannequin missing its arms and in the middle of the floor was a massive stuffed water buffalo head. Had my friend just brought me to a serial killer’s den? Was I about to be murdered?

Over walks some tall blonde dude with crazy long hair sticking out everywhere and I thought, This is it. This is how it ends. I am about to be murdered.

Joe gregariously introduces himself and starts chatting away, welcoming us into his lair and offering us a drink. He was the friendliest serial killer I’d ever met! And HILARIOUS. I still to this day don’t understand how Joe’s brain works but the ideas he comes up with and things that come out of his mouth have been cracking me up since that night. 

We had a couple drinks at his place and then all went out to a bar close by for a few. A couple hours later, my girlfriend and I left and headed home. It was pretty uneventful. There weren’t any crazy love-at-first-sight sparks. I was confused/entertained by Joe but didn’t think anything more of it.

He, however, asked my girlfriend for my number and started texting me. I wasn’t into it romantically for months, and he got that and never pushed it or made it awkward. In retrospect I’m sure he was a-ok in the lady department and felt no need to aggressively pursue me because of it (LOL). Still, we kept talking as friends and would see each other out at parties on the weekends.

It’s hard to explain Joe’s humor without meeting him. It’s one part laughing at him because he’s just hilarious and ridiculous and one part laughing with him because he has this brilliantly strange wit that is like nothing I’ve ever encountered. Our text conversations would have me dying laughing and then he’d lose his phone and I’d get Facebook messages and even collect calls from phone booths (seriously).

One day I was sitting at my desk (back when I had a 9-to-5 office job) g-chatting with a girlfriend and a thought hit me. Do I have a crush on Joe?! This was four or five months after we’d first met. I messaged my friend: I think I might actually like that Joe guy. Her response was something along the lines of: Nah. I doubt it. (LOLLOLLOL).

That weekend, I decided to meet up with Joe with an open mind and see if there was anything there. Me and a friend met up with him and some of his friends at a bar and that was it. We’ve spent barely a day apart since then. 

Joe is not only hilarious but the most universally liked guy I’ve ever met. He’s the type of person who knows someone everywhere he goes (we walked into a random bar in AUSTRALIA and he immediately spotted a friend—WTF?!). He’s kind, patient, fun, generous, loving, easy-going. Being with him these past four and a half years has truly made me a better person and I’m grateful for him every day. He brings so much joy to my life!

This blog post will be promptly deleted if we ever break up.

😉

Enjoy your weekend!

My Favorite Things: July

Summer is flying by! With July in the review mirror, it’s time for my monthly roundup of favorite things.

Favorite Products/Services

Crowdsourced Eyebrow Products

I asked those who watch my Instagram stories for recommendations on brow products and was overwhelmed by all the responses—you guys are the best! I don’t wear a lot of makeup and generally feel confident without it, but I do love full eyebrows and some mascara when I’m not in workout clothes. Three brands were overwhelmingly recommended, so I thought I’d share them here for anyone else looking for eyebrow products:

  1. Anastasia Beverly Hills | Most of you said to get the Brow Wiz Pencil or the Dipbrow Pomade. I’m going to try the pomade and will let you know on Instagram how it goes!
  2. Benefit Cosmetics | I had my makeup done at Benefit for an event this past winter and loved how my brows looked, so I’m not surprised this brand was recommended a ton. Top products were ka-Brow! Cream-Gel Eyebrow Color with Brush,  Goof Proof Brow Pencil and Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel.
  3. Glossier’s Boy Brow | A lot of you seem to swear by this product so it must be good!

Oofos Slides

These aren’t exactly the sleekest, most fashionable sandals but oh em gee are they comfortable. Joe makes fun of me when I wear them (“Are you wearing Crocs?!”) but they’re not being retired any time soon. Oofos sandals are intended to be worn post-workout and I’m pretty sure were given at a discount to Boston Marathon runners at the expo this year. They’re padded for impact absorption, have a lot of arch support and are seriously just the most comfortable things. I wear mine all the time.

Favorite Eats

Chocolate Chunk Cookie Blondies from Cake in a Crate x Ambitious Kitchen

I had heard about Cake in a Crate (think Blue Apron but with dessert) through social media, but it wasn’t until I saw Monique had a recipe included that I decided to give it a try. Any time I need a cookie recipe, her blog is my go-to! I made these Chocolate Chunk Cookies in blondie form and they did not disappoint.

Zucchini Fritters from Clover Food Lab

I ordered these at Clover thinking they’d be like zucchini french fries or tots. I was (pleasantly) surprised to find that instead of an afternoon snack, I’d accidentally ordered dessert. If fried dough and zucchini bread had a baby, these fritters would be the result. If you’re in Boston, I highly recommend trying them next time your sweet tooth needs to be satisfied!

Avocado Alfredo Sauce from Simply Quinoa

I tried Simply Quinoa’s vegan avocado alfredo sauce the other week and loved it. Don’t let my junky iPhone picture throw you off—it’s delish.

Favorite Things I …

Read

  • Ask Andrew W.K.: My Dad Is a Right-Wing Asshole via Village Voice | Despite the fact that every other sentence ends in a preposition (that drives the writer in me crazy!!), I loved this piece. A beautiful reminder to not reduce people to a set of religious or political views:

“Don’t feel the need to always pick a side. And if you do pick a side, pick the side of love. It remains our only real hope for survival and has more power to save us than any other belief we could ever cling to.”

“Most public health experts recommend a diet that emphasizes plant foods and limits animal foods. But unless you bring in concerns about animals, the environment, and social justice, you can’t make the case for a vegan diet as the only sensible way to eat.”

“I would guess that this film might also turn off a sizable segment of the population who recognize the hype, the over-the-top conspiracy mongering, and the shoddy science. For many, it’s likely to reinforce any negative view they may already have of vegans.”

Watched

Favorite Moments

4th of July Week on the Cape & Vineyard

I feel like a fraud posting this picture on a roundup of favorites because Joe and I were actually in a stupid fight over nothing this day (LOL). When this pic was taken, I wanted to push him off the boat, he wanted to push me off the boat, and our friends probably wanted to push the two of us in. I’m always on time or early, like to plan ahead, and do things efficiently. Joe is 20 minutes to 3 hours late for everything and flies through life by the seat of his pants. Needless to say, traveling can spark some colorful arguments that we always laugh about the next day. 😉

The start to this vacation was no different! But the rest of it was absolutely wonderful. A couple days boating around the Cape and then a week at home on the Vineyard. Gotta love summertime in New England!

Btone Southie Photoshoot

Photo by Nick Cosky

I’ve missed every new studio photoshoot since I’ve been teaching for one reason or another and finally made it to the Btone shoot for Southie this month. Speaking of Btone, starting today my new weekly schedule is:

  • Wednesdays Back Bay 6, 6:55 & 7:50 AM
  • Wednesdays North End 4:30 & 5:25 PM
  • Thursdays Back Bay 6 & 6:55 AM

Weekend on the Jersey Shore

We spent this past weekend on the Jersey Shore with Joe’s family and put in a solid 8-hour shift at the boardwalk and waterpark with the kids (nephews and niece). I had heard rumors that MTV’s Jersey Shore cast was filming a reunion and I had my eyes peeled, but no Snooki sightings. 😉

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.

10 Exercises You Can Do with a Desk Chair

This post is sponsored by Wonderful Pistachios. All opinions—as always!—are my own. I appreciate your support of the brands that make this blog possible. 🙂

When it comes to staying healthy at work, I realize I have an advantage. In many ways, being healthy is my work. Teaching group fitness keeps me active, and when I’m not doing that I have the flexibility to work from home (or anywhere) and schedule my own workouts whenever is best that day.

The irony of being in the fitness industry, however, is that as you spend more and more time helping others get their workouts in, you have less and less time for your own. There was a time when I was teaching way too many classes a week and I found myself exhausted and completely run down. Now I know my teaching limit and stick to it, but back then I’d find myself without the energy to do my own workouts. And the more tired I became, the more I craved sugar and caffeine. I had overextended myself and was becoming less fit.

Another challenge for me that comes with working from home is the snacking. My desk is five steps from my kitchen and my go-to method of procrastination has always been eating (I go HAM on the snacks when I have a blogging deadline haha). My refrigerator and pantry are full of healthy foods so it’s not that what I’m snacking on is a big deal, it’s just the amount. If I have a family-size bag of trail mix in front of me, for example, I’ll absentmindedly eat the whole thing by the handful while answering emails. Oopsies.

For this reason, when I have a heavy work load, I’m all about keeping snacks around that aren’t as easy to eat mindlessly. It sounds silly, but if I have to work a little harder for it, it slows me down and forces me to really focus and enjoy the food. Oranges (pause and peel), cherries (spit out the pits), and pistachios (crack open each shell) are among my favorites.

Wonderful Pistachios, The Mindful Nut, are one of the highest-protein, highest-fiber nuts around. They’re also one of the lowest-fat and lowest-calorie nuts (which is why they also call it The Fit Nut),, making them a great alternative to snacks high in added sugars and saturated fat (almost 90% of the fat found in pistachios is unsaturated). I love the shelled packs so I don’t rush through my snack, but they also come in a no-shells variety which is great if you want to use them as a salad topper without having to remove shells.

Wonderful Pistachios has a giveaway and coupon for you guys (scroll down), but before I get to that, I thought it’d be fun to share some exercises you can do with a desk chair—in case snacking healthy at work isn’t enough for you. 😉

10 Exercises You Can Do with a Desk Chair

You don’t necessarily have to do these at your desk (if you have cube mates that might elicit a few stares), but these are a few of my favorite exercises using a chair.

Try picking five of the above exercises and performing them in a circuit: 45 seconds of work / 15 seconds of rest. Complete the circuit two – four times for a quick office (or at-home!) workout.

#WorkSmartSnackSmart Giveaway

Wonderful Pistachios wants to see how you Snack Smarter at work. All you have to do to enter is post a photo on Instagram of your healthy workspace and include the hashtags #WorkSmartSnackSmart and #WPGiveaway and tag @GetCrackin.

Ten randomly selected winners will get a case of No Shells Roasted & Salted Wonderful Pistachios Shelled, Roasted and Salted and a case of the Roasted & Salted Wonderful Pistachios Multipack, Roasted and Salted. One grand prize winner will get an office refresh complete with Wonderful Pistachios and other Wonderful products for a full year and a custom Wonderful Pistachios branded refrigerator. Full contest terms here.

If you don’t win, you can still save with the discount code 20SNCKSMRT9. That will get you 20% off either 32oz Roasted Salted Wonderful Pistachios or 6oz shelled Wonderful Pistachios through 7/28. Promo code valid while supplies last.

What’s your favorite workday snack?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Wonderful Pistachios. The opinions and text are all mine.