Let’s NOT grab a drink…

the beautiful Boston skyline

the beautiful Boston skyline

That title sounds weird, I know.  But it’s a serious goal I’ve started setting for myself.  With ever-changing, ever-busy schedules, it can be pretty tough to find a free minute to spend with friends.  And when we do find free minutes, the default is to grab a drink at a local bar.  Now, don’t get me wrong, that can be an absolute blast.  But it can also be expensive and pretty unhealthy.  I’m no Miss Fitness (I can easily eat an entire party-sized bag of Cape Cod Salt & Vinegar chips in one sitting), but between cocktails with coworkers and boozy weekends, I sometimes like my dates with girlfriends to be alcohol free.

SO, if you just so happen to agree with me and live in the Boston area, here are a couple of activities I’m hoping to take part in during the next month:

St. Anthony’s feast is this weekend in the North End!  Not healthy, but still fun.
Boston has an interesting Street Seats art exhibit going on now in the Fort Point Channel.
Have you seen the Cool Globes yet?
Boston Ballet’s FREE Night of Stars is Sept. 21.  I’m so excited to go see ballet outdoors!
DIY projects can be intimidating but Darby Smart makes it easy, fun, and cheap (does anybody else accidentally spend hundreds of dollars at Micheal’s buying supplies?).
FREE pilates/yoga/bootcamp classes at Normal B. Leventhal Park in P.O. Square (financial district)!

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Summer Smiles

Smiles seem so much more commonplace during summer than in other seasons (this might have to do with below zero temps during Boston winters, but who knows).  Below are a couple of things that have made me happy over these past few months.

First, two of my cousins are having babies (one who was just born and one who will be arriving right around my birthday!)!  I bought a gag gift for one of their baby showers that inspired a lot of laughs…definitely worth the $8. Find it here. It’s only the box and not the actual Dribbler, but there’s enough info on there to keep you entertained for a while.Crib Dribbler

As my blog title suggests, I love the sun.  Love it. Summer boating while soaking up some rays is one of my absolute favorite activities.

heading out of the boat yard on cape cod!

heading out of the boat yard on cape cod!

the shore of Lake Opechee, NH

try wake surfing, it’s awesome (though hard…I’ve had some great wipe-outs this summer)

Walking home from work through the Boston Commons can be so serene…Boston Commons

If you ever need a smile, check out daily odd compliment on Pinterest.

giraffes happen to be my favorite animal

giraffes happen to be my favorite animal!

And last but nowhere near least (actually it’s probably closer to most), the puppy who has finally come into my life.  I like to think of myself as her god mother. She’s fluffy and cuddly and already knows how to swim as well as sit for her dinner (at only 10 weeks!). Best puppy ever.

Dany's first night home

Dany’s first night home

this is the happiest I have ever been

this is the happiest I have ever been, just watching her boating

sleepy pup

it’s tough being a pup

Have a great July and August!

Sweat, Sand, and Sun

Beach Photo

I absolutely love the beach (who doesn’t?) but my ability to sit quietly in the sun runs out after a solid 25 minutes.  Other than an occasional 3pm nap, I am all about activities by the water.  This beach workout is quick and fun, but is also great for toning and is by no means easy (the instability of the sand means your muscles have to engage more).  I modeled it after some of my favorite exercises from plyometric-focused gym classes.  All exercises are done in the sand, so just make sure you clear the area of rocks or shells.

1) Calf Raises in 2nd Position (aka relevés): Place your feet a little closer than hip width apart, feet turned out (so your toes are pointing out to your sides as opposed to facing forward). Raise your heels up so you are balancing on your toes, then lower yourself back to flat feet on the sand.  Repeat 20 times.  Place your hands on your hips or out to your sides to help you balance.

2) Sand Jumps:  Build up a mound of sand, but make sure the area around your mound is still flat.  You’ll be jumping over this mound so no need to help yourself sprain your ankle.  Height of the mound is up to you, just make sure you can clear both the height and width.  Start feet slightly apart on one side of your mound, knees bent.  Jump up and over, pushing off of both legs simultaneously, and then landing on both legs simultaneously (a two-footed jump).  If you’re feeling brave/coordinated, jump backwards in the same fashion.  If not, turn around and repeat in the other direction.  That’s one.  Repeat 10 times (or 20 jumps in total).

3) Inverted Walking Push-Ups:  Get into a push-up position with your feet raised on your previously made mound of sand (you might need to add to it/pack the sand in tightly).  Walk your hands two ‘steps’ to the right and do a push-up, then walk them two ‘steps’ to the left and do a push-up.  That’s one. Repeat, you guessed it, 10 times.

4) Side-Kicks in the Sand: Start on your hands and knees.  Pick your right leg up to the side with your knee still bent, so that your thighs look like a right angle (and you maybe look a little like a dog peeing, sorry).  Bending your left elbow, lower your body slightly to the left while you kick your right leg out (simply by unbending your knee).  Bring your leg back in and lower down to the sand.  Repeat 10 times on each side.  Tip: It’s important to only bend your left arm here and not simply bend at the waist.  A modification would be to just to do leg raises out to the side.

5) Towel Ab Rotations: Sit in the sand with your arms extended over your head, holding your towel.  Hands shoulder width apart, legs together.  Pick your knees up off the sand, keeping them together, so that your feet are off the ground and your body is in a V shape with your knees bent (I guess that’s more like 3/4 of a W).  Rotate your body, slowly dropping your knees to the right, making your legs parallel to the ground.  At the same time, lower your arms to your left side, still fully extended, keeping yourself balanced.  Come back to center and repeat on the opposite side.  Do 10 full sets (or 20 twists).

Do one exercise after the other, with 30 second breaks in between.  Rest 2 minutes after you’ve finished and do the whole set again.  If you feel up to it, repeat for a 3rd time!  Then it’s time to jump in the water to get rid of any sand, followed by a nice nap.

Cape Cod Lobster Bake

I’ll be spending the 4th on Cape Cod this year, and lobster bakes go hand in hand with the 4th of July basically anywhere in New England.  But, no Cape soiree is complete without a little festive decor (I dare you to try counting the number of American flags down there) so I’ve put together a little kit of necessities for throwing a good 4th of July lobster bake.  lobster bake 2

First, a preppy, patterned tablecloth is perfect for setting the scene (vinyl is easiest to clean).  Top it with nautical butter bowls for dipping, bleachable napkins/moist towelettes, and everybody’s favorite garment: the lobster bib.  Don’t forget your lobster crackers, or you’re going to go hungry (or break out a hammer).  Cape mosquitoes will eat you alive so citronella candles are a must for outdoor parties.  And add a couple Furbish Studio starburst candles to kick it up an extra notch in terms of patriotism.  Keep an ice bucket with drinks nearby, hands get messy during lobster bakes so trips indoors will only lead to buttery smears.  Maybe add a limoncello cocktail?  In acrylic glasses of course, shell cracking always leads to flying elbows.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Stiletto Race!

Stiletto

This past weekend was the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Seacoast’s 4th annual Stiletto Race.  It’s a hilarious high-heel sprint in downtown Portsmouth, NH to raise money for the organization.

Runners line up at the start! (click this picture to find the full article it was featured in!)

Awards range from best shoes to best wipe-out, and believe me, there are always  great wipe-outs.  And aside from the fact that the organizers accidentally put me in a heat of all guys every year (seriously, there’s a reason why people call me Vitamin D), the race is one of my favorite events of the summer.  It’s a wonderful cause, and everybody laughs hysterically the entire time.  Not to mention, this year the race raised over $18,000, with 85 competitors.  Pretty impressive.

Perfect racing form.

Perfect racing form.

My best friend’s dad is a big brother, so their family introduced mine to the race.  Her entire family (dad and brother included) raced this year!

stiletto2

Me with my lovely mom!

Me with my lovely mom!

Notes for future racers are as follows: the higher the heels the better, tape those suckers on or you will kick them right off, and when you start to fall just tuck and roll.

stiletto3

And On a serious note, BBBS of the Greater Seacoast is an awesome organization helping over 300 kids in the area.  But there are still roughly 80 kiddos on the wait list.  Check out volunteer opportunities and come race next year!