The Best of Boston

This past weekend, I was in Boston for BFF Vera’s Bachelorette Party. Given that I don’t live in Boston and have been there once, her other bridesmaids did the heavy lifting when it came to the plans. The theme of the weekend was “The Best of Boston for the Best Bride” and we did many of Vera’s favorite things all weekend. It was great for me because it gave me a chance to see the best of Boston in a short time, especially since the one time I did visit Vera, we did a lot of stuff outside of Boston.

So, if you’re curious about Vera’s Best of Boston, here you go! Prepare for a lot of selfies, sorry … we had a stick.

Friday started with a workout at one of her favorite studios, Barry’s Bootcamp. The format was really similar to Shred415, but our instructor was really intense. He kept telling us to increase our pace and/or incline on the treadmill and eventually I was all (to myself) “you’re not the boss of me.”

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After our tough workout (and shower), we headed to Flour, a delicious bakery and cafe.

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Who cares about the food! We’re hanging out in person! But if you go, get the homemade raspberry seltzer and a rice krispie treat!

From Flour, we went to G2O Spa for some relaxation. We also started having fun with a selfie stick, or as Vera called it, the Phone Extender. #Veraisms

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At G2O, we relaxed in the Brine Room (with a calming waterfall) and then 5 of us had The Bali Experience. Basically we were in a steam room for 30 minutes, rubbing lotion and a salt scrub on ourselves, with a rainstorm to finish. We felt like we were marinating and then spicing ourselves, and our giggles (and shrieks) could be heard down the hall. I’m sure we really helped to foster the relaxing atmosphere. I really need to go to the spa more often, even if it’s just this place.

Dinner on Friday night was at Cuchi Cuchi. We sat at an amazing light-up table and the shot glasses were quite festive.

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That’s the shot glass upside. They take “bottoms up” quite literally. 

After dinner, we walked to the Middle East nightclub for live music from the Dirty Dottys, Jay & Bey and the Timberfakes. Confession: a couple songs into the Timberfakes, we were tired and felt that the place we getting too loud and too crowded so we went home to bed. #Old

Saturday started with another workout. We all went to Exhale Spa, I did yoga and everyone else did core fusion (Vera’s favorite of course). Thanks to my ClassPass membership, my class was covered! After showering, we went across the street to the Public Garden for a lovely picnic.

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And then we did some kayaking on the Charles River.

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After kayaking, we had a “break,” and since it was my birthday, Vera took me back to Flour for some treats, which we enjoyed while catching up on Project Runway.

Saturday evening’s festivities included some bachelorette party games at the condo of one of the bridesmaids, and then dinner at Vera’s favorite restaurant, Myers + Chang.

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I’m kind of sold on selfie sticks …

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Best Woman & The Bride.

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Instead of cake, we had a tower of rice krispie treats from Flour. (They are the bomb.)

After dinner, we stopped at a local watering hole for dancing, and then called it a night because …

Sunday started with another workout! The rest of the ladies went to Flywheel and I met Jessica for a megaformer class at BTone (also on ClassPass).

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Then I met up with the rest of the group to pick up Blackbird Doughnuts and head to the beach.

But it was rainy, so we skipped the beach and headed to our lunch destination, The Lobster Pool, which sits on the Ipswich Bay.

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That would be the lobster pool (er, tub?) inside The Lobster Pool. Pretty fresh eats.

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I took the easy route and got a lobster roll. Some of the other ladies got whole lobsters. Maybe next time I’ll attempt one.

And that was the end of the bachelorette party. I had a blast celebrating my best friend, getting to know her Boston friends, and celebrating my birthday with Vera for the first time in 12 years!

Have you been to Boston? What are your favorite things to do/places to go? We’ll be back there soon-ish for the wedding, and it’ll be my husband’s first time there. 

Looking Specsy with Firmoo

I love rocking my glasses. I like to think of them as face jewelry. And who doesn’t like to have options when it comes to jewelry and other accessories?

Earlier in the year, Firmoo reached out to offer a free pair of specs, and I gladly took them up on the offer! I already had a pair of black-rimmed glasses from my eye doc, so I went with tortoise-shell frames.

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Because a gal needs options.

I’m very pleased with how these turned out. It can be hard to purchase frames online, even with the virtual try-on, you don’t really know how they’ll look until they arrive. But I am quite pleased with how these look, and the quality is fantastic. And now I have an option for when I wear brown or navy blue but not black.

Firmoo contacted me again a few months later, offering up another pair of glasses of my choosing. This time I asked about sunglasses. I don’t know about the rest of you bespectacled folks, but sunglasses can be a challenge. I can either find sunglasses to wear over my glasses (awkward), or wear just sunglasses and deal with my poor vision, or deal  with the glaring sun (which can be hard from someone with light-ish eyes, like me). Or of course wear contacts and it’s a non-issue, but I prefer to wear glasses and save the contacts for workouts and special occasions.

Anywho, while the selection was limited for a comp pair, I was able to order a pair of prescription sunglasses. I ended up going with tortoise-shell frames again, with brown tint.

Guys …  this is a total game changer.

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I really should have ponied up the money sooner, but it can be pricey to order prescription sunglasses on top of my normal glasses AND contact lenses. But I am so pleased with these glasses, the quality is great yet again, and I love wearing just one pair of glasses and not being blinded by the sun or deal with contact lenses that eventually start to irritate my eyes.

And in reality … it’s not that expensive. Firmoo has tons of prescription sunglasses available for $39 (plus shipping and any add-ons), so even when my prescription changes yet again, I can order a new pair for under $50. They also offer lots of discounts, so definitely sign up for their email list!

Firmoo offered me the glasses above for free and has asked that I review them. Opinions are my own. 

Barely Balanced at the Bristol Renaissance Faire 2015

I’ve been to the Bristol Renaissance Faire many times over the years … I’ve lost count, but it’s probably around 10 times. Even though the Faire hasn’t changed that much, it’s always a good time!

This year, I got to see Barely Balanced and they were pretty rad.

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They called each other “Small” “Medium” and “Large.” Small and Medium are married.

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Sometimes you literally have to support your husband, amirite?

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They liked to play with fire.

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While balancing on each other.

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Why not add a hoop??

Video:

Barely Balanced at the Bristol Renaissance Faire from Maggie Wolff on Vimeo.

Barely Balanced at the Bristol Renaissance Faire from Maggie Wolff on Vimeo.

If you get a chance to head to the Ren Faire (they’re open Saturdays & Sundays through Labor Day), definitely check the schedule and see when Barley Balanced is performing! And of course, go to the joust and stay for the drum jam/dance circle at the end of the day.

Have you been to a Ren Faire? What are your favorite things about it? In addition to all the cool shows, the shopping is fun, and the food is actually pretty good. Maybe one of these years, I’ll rent a costume.  

Three Things Thursday – Truly Random

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Hell or High Watermelon by 21st Amendment Brewery is my favorite beer this summer. It’s not too fruity, and light enough to be quite refreshing after a hard, sweaty workout. Have you tried it?? What’s your favorite post-workout beer? Or your favorite summer beer? I also enjoy Summer Shandy.

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When I was living in the south burbs and trekking into Chicago for races with Kelly, we would part in our “secret $2 lot” near Polk & Wells. Sadly, that lot is no more :(  NBD for me, I can Divvy to races in Grant Park, but sucks for my south burbs friends.

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I got this “leg makeup” (OMG what) from Influenster, but I’m going to be honest … I’ll never use this. If you want it, send your mailing address to mag@magmilerunner.com and it’s yours. If not, uh, do you think I can mix it with facial moisterizer for DIY CC cream?

Stand-Up Paddleboard Yoga is Hard

I’ve tried Stand-Up Paddleboarding and had a blast. And I do a lot of yoga, and really enjoy that. So when I saw ChicagoSUP offering SUPyo classes via ClassPass, I had to try it! I looked up pics beforehand to try to figure out what to expect, and more importantly, what to wear.

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Photo source: Chicago SUP Facebook

At first I thought I would wear workout clothing (sports bra and short fitted shorts), but since we’d be on the water and it was a lovely day, I opted to wear a bikini. Since I was heading to SUP straight from the office, I packed my beach stuff in my work bag. I got to North Ave Beach about 30 minutes before my class, which gave me time to check in, change, apply sunscreen, lock up my stuff and wade into the water for a few minutes, enjoying the lovely view.

I took class at 4:30pm on a Friday, and there was only one other student in the class. We took our paddleboards out to a spot next to the pier that had a rope set up that we could anchor ourselves to in a row. So we wouldn’t float away, but our paddleboards would still move with the water (and occasionally bump each other).

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Photo source: Chicago SUP Facebook

When picking out what to wear for the class, what I didn’t realize was how close we would be to the pier, where people would be walking around while we were cat-cowing. I did feel a bit self-conscious, but these things don’t really bother me, so I got over it pretty quickly.

Anyway, once we got our paddleboards anchored and centered ourselves on our boards, our teacher started moving us through a typical yoga flow. I’ve done countless yoga classes over the years, so I kind of know what I’m doing.

But This. Was. Hard. Focusing on the moves probably distacted me from the fact that a family of 5 was getting a nice view of my downward-facing dog.

I fell off the board at least three times, thankfully we were in very shallow water (although right next to a drop off). It was easy to just hop back on the board, and we didn’t need to wear personal floatation devices. But I know that trying to stand into Warrior II was almost impossible for me. Such a simple pose, but such a challenge on a paddleboard. Throughout the class my face was either a look of focus and determination, or laughing while I struggled to find balance in what I used to think was a simple pose.

However, the view was fantastic and the weather was perfect, so really, not a bad way to spend an hour. I didn’t get quite the typical yoga stretch that I would on land, but it was still a fun experience. And a good workout for the core.

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Photo source: Chicago SUP Facebook

So while I enjoyed the experience, I think I’ll stick to yoga classes on solid group, and if I SUP again, I’ll just SUP. That on it’s own is a lot of fun! There are some other SUP options on ClassPass that are just the SUPing.

Have you tried SUP Yoga? What did you think? 

Join me at the BeHealthful Retreat!

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The 2nd Annual BeHealthful Retreat is an expo + retreat + conference hybrid coming to the beautiful Zhou B Art Center in Bridgeport on Sunday, September 27th. BeHealthful showcases panels and workshops to learn more about personal health and wellness, to move, invigorate, pamper, and create positive change. You’ll spend the whole day being immersed in a blend of activities that are curated to promote personal growth, connectivity, empowerment, and revitalization.

The 2nd Annual BeHealthful Retreat
September 27, 11:00am – 5:00pm
Zhou B Art Center, 1029 W 35th St, Chicago

There is free parking available or take the #8 Halsted bus.

The day will be jam-packed with awesome workouts, cooking demos, health and wellness talks, and mini spa services, including:

  • Yoga, pilates and guided meditation
  • Multiple HIIT classes, including one with Betina Gozo from CrossTown Fitness
  • Manicures, facials, eyelash applications
  • Hand massages, head and neck massages, reflexology, acupunture
  • Art Therapy sessions, ayurvedic treatments

Passes are currently going for $50 and include lunch, register today!

What to do with all these herbs

Good news: My herbs are still growing like crazy!

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Better news: I’m starting to do stuff with them!

Twice now, I’ve used the rosemary, sage, oregano and thyme along with lemon juice, olive oil and garlic (or garlic scapes) to made a marinade for chicken and/or shrimp.

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I also used the mint along with parsley from my CSA share to make a damn good Middle Eastern Tomato Salad.

And it didn’t require herbs, but the recent haul from our CSA included sweet corn, and I followed these instructions to grill a couple ears. So good!

And I already blogged about making pesto. What else can I do with herbs? Especially the sage, thyme, oregano and mint.