Photo Blogging Challenge – Happy

I took a month off from the photo blogging challenge, but I’m back! The theme for September was “happy”.

I ended up interpreting that as “what makes me happy”.


Labor Day Weekend I went on a long weekend trip to Maine and New Hampshire with my In-laws

In this photo my brother-in-law, husband, and 2 sister-in-laws walk ahead of me on a wooded path at a National Park

My husband & I are very lucky that we see both sides of our family often, nearly every weekend.

Family is very important to our happiness!


On the same trip we hiked up a mountain and found this on the way back


Here’s a photo from Fenway Park that I took at a Red Sox game in early September

David Ortiz hit his 498th home run that night, but then the darn Blue Jays walked him whenever he came to bat!


I’m spoiled by all the public art we have in MA.

This is on the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston. The building is painted by a different artist twice a year.


I walked in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk to benefit Dana-Farber Cancer Institute on Sunday.

The volunteers were great! Above, this rest stop volunteer juggles apples and encourages us to take one.

Hope you enjoyed my photos this month! I’m looking forward to seeing what others came up with.

This monthly photo blogging challenge is facilitated by PJ of the Northeast Bloggers Network.

Thanks for inspiring me to take more photos!

New Balance Girls Night Out Boston – September

Last week, I attended New Balance Girls Night Out Boston.

Each #NBGNO offers 2 workout options – a fitness class, or a run.

Sadly for me, the class filled up, so I was stuck on the run.

Now, I’ve written before about not feeling running is for me. I was seriously considering just going home, but a few friends also at the event urged me to run.

I warned the pacers that I’m wicked slow and was concerned I’d be left behind. Luckily, my friend Maggie was there and took the run slow with me, because guess what happened?! Despite many assurances from the running group, I was left behind. Maggie ended up cutting the route short for me, and we were the 1st back at New Balance.


I need to figure out how to get to New Balance early on future Girls Night Out events, so I’m sure to get a spot in the fitness class.

Thank you to New Balance for your focus on women and creating the free Girls Night Out fitness program!

New Balance hosts GNO events all over the US so check the New Balance Girls Night Out to see if there’s an event scheduled near you. Be warned, the event spots go quick for this free event series, so registering as soon as the event registration opens is a good idea.

Soul Pose


I had a blast at Soul Pose in Waltham, MA on Saturday morning!



My friend Erica joined me and took this photo of me

The yoga session was packed but fun. The weather cooperated with us, sunny and warm – 85 degrees!

The leader for the session came all the way from Utah. I liked her because she encouraged doing what felt right for you; because every move feels different for every person.

In a small world moment, half way through the session the woman on the mat to my left said “Are you Danielle?”. She recognized my voice and is a Boston Women Communicators member. She’s also a yoga instructor, so I suddenly got self conscious about my lack of yoga skills.

Soul Pose had staff from Core Power Yoga walking through the crowd to spritz us with water.

I’m glad Erica got photos of the confetti throw. It was fun!

Thank you to Soul Pose for hosting such a fun event! I’ll be watching for other events you host in MA.



Photo credit for the 2 collages above: Erica, the blogger behind Boston Rookie

Boston Festival of Indie Games 2015

On Saturday, my husband David & I had the opportunity to attend Boston FIG.

We’ve attended 3 of the 4 years the event has occurred, and we always have a great time.

We spent the day there, from 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM.




I had 2 favorite games on the digital showcase floor:


A Matter of Murder

A Matter of Murder is a game where you have to investigate to solve a murder. (Think of the game Clue.) From their press release: “The details of each murder are procedurally generated, so “A Matter of Murder” is different every time you play with progressively more challenging logic puzzles.  The game can also randomly combine logic puzzles to provide seemingly endless surprises and high replayability.”


Emily is Away

This game begins in 2002. You play a high school senior chatting with your friend Emily on AIM (AOL instant messenger).

I graduated high school that year, and was addicted to AIM. I even used my AIM screen name from back in the day to demo the game.

It was an awesome dose of nostalgia and I look forward to playing more levels at home, using the demo CD.

Here’s how the creators describe their game:  “Create a screenname and browse buddy infos in this chat-bot meets adventure game. Explore your relationship with Emily, a fellow high school student, in a branching narrative where you create the story.”


Of course, it wouldn’t be Boston FIG for me if I didn’t stop at the WGBH booth for a photo.

That’s me and The Man in the Yellow Hat and Curious George!


I had beginners luck and beat David in this game!

My favorite game on the tabletop floor was:


Robit Riddle

This was a great game that teaches story telling & is family friendly!

“Make believe you are a robot trying to find your missing pet robits.  Work together choosing your path through the story.  Have encounters, find friends and adventures along the way.”

David & I had a great time playing this game with the creators son & 2 other media attendees!

Then it was back to the digital floor for me, since I’d spotted a fitness activity I just had to try!



That’s me, on a stationary bike, with a VR headset showing me racing a horse in one game and a racecar in another.

The VR headset actually made me dizzy because I couldn’t wear my glasses with it, but it was still worth trying out.

I got in 8,164 steps that day, and that doesn’t include any movement from the cycling. (I should have moved my Fitbit to my foot to track that. Oops.)


Here I am proudly wearing the Boston FIG 2015 tee shirt, post event at Wollaston Beach in Quincy.

Here’s my recap on Boston FIG 2014:

November Project 9/16


It’s a firedrill!

The group photo from November Project Boston Wednesday morning makes me smile.

Can you find me? I’m actually close to the front for this one.

It was firedrill day, which means that every time our leader rang a cowbell, we needed to drop and do 5 push ups.

I got in 20 push ups.

For sections climbed today, I actually don’t know, but I think it was 13.

You see, it was laundry day for me today, so I wasn’t wearing a November Project tagged shirt this morning like I usually do. That, combined with my slow speed, must have made a member named Andrew think I’m a newbie. Or, Andrew is living this whole support the community thing. Either way, Andrew kept screaming my name and “You’ve got this” whenever he spied me stopping.

And don’t get me wrong, I appreciated the support! I just worried that I was getting it when a newbie may need it more.

And at that second, I spotted Bobby (a friend from my years working at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society) a few sections away from me to my right. It was his 3rd week climbing and he was taking it slow but steady.

I finished the section I was climbing, and then headed to the section he was on to climb beside him for a bit. It was great to catch up and cheer him on.

I ended up losing track of how many sections I’d climbed but I’m wicked OK with that!

Reflections on 2 years of November Project Boston workouts


I’ve known about the free fitness movement, November Project, for years, but it took a lot of effort from my friend from Social Boston Sports Fit League Jess L. to finally convince me to #JustShowUp.

First the excuse was 6:30 AM is way too early. Then it was that there was no way it would work with my work schedule.

On 1/1/14 I showed up to climb stairs at my first November Project Boston workout. There were so few newbies that day that a newbie meeting wasn’t held.

I was surprised at how steep the Harvard Stadium steps were. (I’m short!) I enjoyed the workout, but I still couldn’t get time off from my job at the time to attend NP workouts regularly.

Then on 5/28/14, I started to regularly attend Wednesday NP workouts. I’d requested a schedule adjustment from my employer so I could attend, and it was so worth it. (Now, I work in the same city as the one I live in, there’s no more 26.2 mile one way commute to work getting in my way of attending, like there was in 2014.)

I’m glad I’ve been blogging since the beginning, to be able to look at how far I’ve come, but also how the support of other NP members has been there the entire time, encouraging me to get over my fear and take the next step.

On my 2nd week of regular Wednesday NP workouts, the encouragement came straight from one of November Project’s co-founders: Brogan Graham!

The “yearbook photo” in the bottom right of the image above was taken on my 4th week of November Project. I look exhausted and had not managed to get “straight face” down at all. But, I was happy to be there.

Week 5, I discovered that the last Wednesday workout of the month has a DJ!

On 7/4/14 I joined November Project for my 1st Friday hill running workout!

By then, I’d fallen in love with the NP community so much, I joined their weekend spinoff group, Boston Brunch Runners, for a run.

Week 8 of Wednesday workouts caught me in a hilarious “There are more stairs?!” face mid climb.

On my week 10, I celebrated my 30th birthday with November Project. (That’s the bottom middle photo above.)

I was actually starting to feel like an athlete.

Next, I joined a November Project Monday “Destination Deck” workout.

By October, I was up to climbing 20 sections! (1/2 tour!)

I learned that November Project can be more fun when we’re weatherproof.

In November of 2014, I had my 2nd November Project “yearbook photo” taken.  (Bottom left photo above.)

11/12, we surprised the founders of November Project with thank you notes. New leaders of November Project would be installed in Boston, so the founders could focus on growing November Project. As of today, it’s now a free fitness movement in 23 cities.

Then there was the day my husband asked if I’d joined a cult, watching me nod along in the front row as the November Project co-founders spoke at TEDxBeaconStreet.

I climbed stairs on Christmas Eve and on New Year’s Eve!

I ran the Super Sunday 5k in February of 2015, where members of November Project helped me finish strong! (Top right photo above.)

Then work got busy for me again, and I had to take a break till April. I returned to the stadium on One Boston Day. I’d started a new job in April, so a much shorter commute to work meant I could attend Wednesday workouts regularly again!

I traveled to Washington DC for work and got in a workout with the November Project DC tribe!

This summer, I haven’t been able to climb anywhere near my record of sections, but I still wake up each Wednesday excited to be there.

My face on 8/26/15 shows that we never have any fun at November Project.

Last week was our 1980’s themed yearbook photo day. (Photo above top left)

It’s tough to put into words what November Project has become for me. It’s a community I’m very proud to be a part of. Thank you for accepting everyone and pushing us all to keep crushing our personal records.

I’m in awe of the very fit & fast members of November Project Boston. I love that it’s a community that also accepts every fitness level, and even holds “injury deck” workouts for members that are trying to overcome an injury but still want to attend NP workouts.

Children often join family at our workouts and I’ve seen pregnant women working out with NP too! #FreeFitness at NP is family friendly, with the exception of the one swear we start our workouts with.

We make sure that every workout you are told “I’m glad you’re here” and everyone means it!

Thank you NP for seeing strength in me that I didn’t realize was there.

November Project – 9/9


“Oh what a beautiful morning!
Oh what a beautiful day,
I’ve got a wonderful feeling,
Everything’s going my way.”

Yes, I’m singing in my cube at work this morning.

I wish I took more pictures of the 1980’s themed stair climbing with November Project Boston this morning, because I could use them for the photo challenge for this month. The photo challenge theme is “happy”.

I’m so happy to be a part of this tribe.

November Project Boston was featured on the news this morning:


Above, I’m still smiling after climbing 8 sections

Here are some examples from instagram of the weirdness & wonderfulness this morning:

View this post on Instagram

On Wednesday's we get weird.

A post shared by Jonathan Levitt (@jwlevitt) on

Soul Pose – Win a Free Admission!

You may remember me posting about Soul Pose, the awesome yoga party coming to MA on 9/19.

The organizers of Soul Pose were kind enough to offer me a free admission code to give away and I decided to share it with my awesome readers!

Leave a comment below telling me if you’re interested in attending, and I’ll use a random # generator to choose the winner.


I’m going to be there for the sunlight session beginning at 11:30 AM. There’s also an evening black light session that begins at 7 PM.

Will I see you there?

Barre & Soul Harvard Square – Free Open House – 9/12


The studio I’ve been raving about that I took classes at in the month of August, Barre & Soul, is hosting a free open house on September 12th!

I won’t be able to attend because I’ll be at Boston Festival of Indie Games, but I highly recommend you check out the free classes.

Previous posts about Barre & Soul: 1st barre class, 2nd barre class, Hoop Vinyasa, and 3rd barre class

Barre & Soul® Harvard Square Hosting Free Open House on Sat. September 12

Barre & Soul®, Harvard Square, which officially opened July 20 at 36 JFK Street in Cambridge (The Garage), is hosting a free open house on Saturday, September 12 from 8:30-12 pm to give people the opportunity to check out their new studio and try a class for free.

The first-ever barre studio in Cambridge, Barre & Soul delivers one of the most invigorating and energizing mind and body workout experiences available through their robust schedule of barre and yoga classes. Owned by veteran barre fitness and yoga instructor Andrea Isabelle Lucas, Barre & Soul has five locations: in Harvard Square, Lexington, Melrose, Portsmouth and Woburn.

Sat. Sept. 12 Class Schedule:

8:30-9:30 am:  Barre & Soul Method

8:45-9:45 am: Vinyasa Yoga

10:00-11:00 am: Barre & Soul Method

The Open House event will include a giveaway from Crane & Lion and preview of their new fall line, light refreshments and a studio tour. No advance sign-up is needed. Special intro pricing to join include $30 for 30 days of unlimited yoga and $69 combo for unlimited barre & yoga.

For more information, check out their website.