Photo Blogging Challenge – Snap Away

The September photo blogging challenge was “Snap Away

That definitely makes it easy to fit the theme but hard to figure out which photos will be best suited.

Swing time!
One of the sculptures in Franklin Park Zoo for “Boston Lights” exibit
Turtle swimming by at the New England Aquarium
My husband made us a delicious dinner for National Linguine Day thanks to Yelp Boston and Pastene
Thank you cousin!

So those are my 5 photos. None planned, just snapped what was in front of me.

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

Yelp Boston’s Ultimate Field Day

On Saturday, I had another fun day with Yelp Boston.


My husband Dave 

They held a field day at the Boston Whitcaps Ultimate Frisbee League in Medford. (I had no idea this existed.) Here’s my review of the day on Yelp:




Spunky the Clown & me

Edited to add pictures from the Yelp Facebook Album: Yelp’s Ultimate Field Day

Thanks for the great photos Tatsu!



13,881 steps – Thanks Yelp Boston Somer Love-In!

On Saturday night, Yelp Boston hosted an amazing party in Somerville “Somer Love-In” at Brooklyn Boulders.

My husband & I walked over from the Porter Square T station which was about a 20 minute round trip walk.

One of the highlights of my night was watching the African dance group Agbekor Drum & Dance Society.

Yelp photo 1

Yelp photo 3Me & my husband are part of the watching crowd on the top left

Much to my pleasant surprise, they pulled in people from the audience to dance in their last number and I was one of the lucky chosen.

Here’s a photo of me enjoying the moment:

Yelp photo 2After the dancing, my Fitbit flashed to let me know I’d passed 10,000 steps for the day.

Here’s what I had to say about the event in my Yelp review:

What a wonderful, wicked fun night! Thank you again Yelp Boston for organizing!

I had a blast!

The food & drinks were delicious & filling!

There was a DroneCam from Above Summit filming the action. (I really hope it has audio for when a friend realized there was a camera on the drone.)

My jaw dropped watching Esh Circus Arts ribbon suspension performance!

Agbekor Drum & Dance pulled me into their dancing! Thank you to Laura for instructing me on the moves. (She was an awesome dancer!) I’m afraid of what pictures will look like because I have 2 left feet but I had a wonderful time.

Post dance, my Fitbit called me an “overachiever” for getting in so many steps in one day.

The Yelp swag of a flask made me laugh but I took a plastic tumbler cup instead.

It’s 2 days after the event and I’m still in awe!

SkyRobics Class at SkyZone

YelpFitThanks to Yelp Boston I tried a wicked fun fitness class on Wednesday night – SkyRobics Class at SkyZone in Everett, MA.

It was a fitness class on trampolines! I had a great time and did not do anything to injure myself.

Here’s how SkyZone describes SkyRobics:

Burn up to 1,000 calories an hour on our wall-to-wall trampolines! SkyRobics is low-impact, healthy fun that combines calisthenics, core exercises and strength-building aerobics. SkyRobics is one of the most dynamic, effective and active workouts you can get! Don’t worry, any level of athlete will feel rejuvenated after this workout.

It was a fun workout & I’d definitely take a class again if a friend asked me to join them.

Yelp sky 1

Group shot – I’m in the red “I love Yelp” shirt

Yelp sky 2She asked me to take a jumping picture

CitySolve Urban Race Boston


On Saturday, my husband Dave & I competed in City Solve Urban Race Boston. It’s our 2nd year competing and it’s pretty fun.

It’s kind of like a scavenger hunt around Boston & you race to finish first.

When you arrive at the start, you’re given a clue and multiple choice answers. Then you need to run to the location mentioned in the correct answer to get the game clue sheets.

This year the question was “which of these bands are NOT from Boston” and gave multiple choice answers.

There are 10 clues to the game and you’re allowed to skip one, but 3 clue locations are mandatory and can’t be skipped. I like the way the clues are worded because a lot of it is stuff you can google but that alone will not get you a correct answer. For one example, you needed to know a bunch of numbers (year of Matt Damon’s birth; “Sports Hub” radio station number) and then insert those numbers into a math problem to get you an address on Boylston street to go to for your challenge.

Our strategy is to solve all the clues first, then eliminate the location that’s the farthest away from the rest of the route. Last year, there were clue locations all over Boston but this year they seemed much closer to each other so it wasn’t an obvious choice for which to skip.

At the locations the clues lead you to you need to either compete an activity or just take a picture of your whole team and the location (sign, statue, etc).

There are also bonus photos that take time off your overall finishing time, but this year we didn’t do any of those. (We figured if we’d spend more time finding the item to take a photo with than we’d save in the time bonus, it wasn’t worth it.)

One of the challenges was to identify candle scents. I didn’t take any allergy medicine that morning (oops) so my sense of smell was gone. I told the people at that challenge, “I probably couldn’t even smell a garbage truck right now!” So, Dave tried his hand but could only identify 1 of 4 candle scents. We asked what we have to do if we couldn’t identify another and were told “30 push ups”. I said, “OK! I do November Project! I’ve got this!” and started 30 push ups right away. Then they said all team members had to and Dave joined me. (Sorry honey!) We finished and ran off to our next location.


The jerks who made us do push ups – my husband & me

We won’t know what place we finished in till CitySolve blogs about the Boston race. We’ve been told that will be on Wednesday.  Edit: We came in 11th out of 45 registered teams!

We had a good time, despite the rain.

We only had 2 complaints for the day –

1) One of the clues was wrong and incorrectly said something was near Central Square when they meant Kenmore. Luckily I’d ignored the part of the clue that said where the store was near because I knew the store, Nuggets in Kenmore Sq.

2) We were forced to either fundraise $10 for Youth Build or donate it ourselves. This was a mandatory challenge.

I work in nonprofit fundraising for a living and even I wasn’t comfortable asking someone to donate $10 to a nonprofit I learned of for the 1st time that day.

Dave & I ended up donating $10 out of our own pocket.

Last year, the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network was the charity City Solve worked with. (I’m a YNPN member.) YNPN did NOT have any fundraising in their challenges last year and they ended up donating what was raised to One Fund Boston instead of keeping it for YNPN!

All and all though, it was a fun day and I ended up earning 9 Weight Watchers Activity points for all our running/walking through Boston. We started near North Station then went all the way to Kenmore Sq to complete challenges.

Thanks again to Yelp Boston for sponsoring City Solve and giving me & Dave spots to compete!

You can read Dave’s view of the day at his blog: CitySolve Boston Recap

Yelp Fit Club – Fighter-FIT



On Saturday afternoon, I joined 7 other Yelp Boston “yelpers” for a fun conditioning class at Redline Fight Sports called “Fighter-Fit”.

Most of us were tired, since we’d been at the Hatchshell Free Friday Flick the night before with Yelp Boston. (It was a wicked fun night out picnicking & watching Goonies.)

We weren’t sure what to expect, but we were looking forward to the challenge.

I had a great time.

Our trainer, Jake, showed us exercises we were going to do and we tried our best to replicate them.

We started with foam rolling and I was in heaven! My calf muscles had been sore since November Project on Wednesday and the foam roller helped them feel a lot better.

Then we moved on to kettle bell swings from a squat position.

I forget what came next for exercises but we worked with medicine balls, ropes, and PVC pipe.

We didn’t get any boxing in but it was still quite a workout!

When we partnered up, Nicole was great and patient with my second delay in figuring out what we were supposed to be doing. (I’m not a good visual mimic at all, but I keep trying!)

Johnna Murphy asked me to give her a shout out in this blog post. Her workout moves definitely impressed me. I’m glad she wasn’t bothered when I accidentally stole a ball that was being passed to her to bat myself. Oops!

The hour class passes by pretty quickly and soon we were getting samples of jerky from Krave.

Thanks to Yelp Boston, Redline, and Krave for a wicked fun workout!

I’m looking forward to the next Yelp Fit Club event (and hope it’s after I go on my summer vacation).

2 Nights of Climbing at Brooklyn Boulders in Somerville

BB sign

I took my 1st & second trip to the rock climbing gym Brooklyn Boulders in Somerville this week.

The trip Wednesday night was part of Social Boston Sports Fit League at Brooklyn Boulders. Honestly, I was a little disappointed Wednesday night that it was only rock climbing. I was afraid that when Fit League changed it’s location from Boston Athletic Club it would no longer be like the other boot camp type trainings SBS Fit Leagues were in the past. So far, that seems to be the case, but I’m hoping next week things get changed up a little. We’ll see.

I’m afraid of heights. That’s a big reason why I didn’t sign up for SBS Fit League at Brooklyn Boulders when it was announced. I actually ended up winning a spot in the group through a Facebook contest.

So, Wednesday night on the rock wall was pretty scary for me, but I stuck with it. I was working on the auto belay wall, which meant I was clipped in to a cord attached to the top of the wall, not being held on a rope by a person.

The Spiderman mural on the wall of the gym made me smile.


My arms and legs were sore by Thursday morning, and I was annoyed that my Weight Watchers active link didn’t record a point for rock climbing. At the boot camp style SBS Fit Leagues I’d earn at least 2 WW activity points a night.

Thursday night was Yelp Boston’s Learn the Ropes class.

My husband Dave joined me for the class and we worked on top roping. That means one person had a rope tied into their harness and the other person held the rope to take up slack as they climbed, catch them if they fall, and lower them off the wall when they’re finished climbing.

I had much more fun with Dave with me and our instructor – Kevin – was great! He was wonderful at explaining exactly what we need to do and hands on if you needed it. (Like when I couldn’t figure out why my rope knots weren’t right, he guided my hand to tie it correctly – which made me actually learn!) He also dealt with my fear of heights like a champ.

I climbed a little, but still didn’t feel comfortable going too far up the rock wall. Dave on the other hand made it all the way to the top of a rock wall downstairs. He’s colorblind, so he didn’t even have help from the tape on the wall suggesting routes, because the tape colors were too close, so he couldn’t tell the difference. I was so proud of him!

He’s a sweet guy and he insists on saying “We made it all the way to the top!” since I was holding his rope to keep him safe and lowered him when he was done.

I got 2 WW activity points for last night. (Before the class, I had to staff a volunteer fair for my work, so standing at that booth was probably what earned me 1 of the points.)

I’m still not comfortable rock climbing, but I’ll be back at Brooklyn Boulders on Monday.

Here’s a photo of the Yelp Boston group:

Yelp Boston Learn the Ropes at BKB Somerville

Yelp Boston Learn the Ropes

Fighting Daylight Savings Time with 2 Work Outs on Monday Night

Last night, I decided to be a little nutty, and run 3 miles as part of the Cambridge 5K fun run, then head to a Yelp Boston sponsored class at BollyX. It was pretty fun, and I ended up earning 10 Weight Watchers activity points for the night. (Now that’s living life active!)

I ran with Jess & Alan. The course was nice, taking us by some pretty views in the park near the Museum of Science. (The last time I was there was for photos before my friends Marina & Mike’s wedding.) I’m looking forward to the Cambridge 5K Craicfest race on Sunday.

Here’s a photo Alan took during the run:

Cambridge 5K Fun RunIt’s great to live near such pretty running/walking paths. I love the Zakim bridge and it’s pretty design. It’s the bridge I drive over to get from Boston to my home in Quincy.

After the run, I had 2 glasses of water, and headed to Central Square for BollyX. I timed it perfectly, and was able to change into a short sleeve shirt before the class. (I forgot to change from my running sweatpants to the capri work out pants I brought, but oh well.)

It was a fun class with some great Boston Yelp reviewers! The instructors remembered me from my class with Just Us Gals and told me they noticed improvement in my moves. (I still can’t dance, but I wasn’t as badly off on the moves as I was in the 1st class.) Hopefully pictures don’t show me moving right when I should have been moving left or something. Regardless, I still had fun.

Looking So Fly(wheel) – Yelp Boston night at spin class

Some of you may remember how much I hated the 1st spin class I attended. After writing my post about the experience, many friends who are spin fans urged me to try again.

When  Yelp Boston offered a free spin class, I knew this was the perfect time to try spin again.


Boy am I glad I did!

Flywheel sports is a great cycling studio! They have gel cushion bike seats available (at no extra charge) so I took one for my bike. It made the pain issues I had with my 1st cycling experience non-existent.

The bikes are arranged in a stadium configuration so seeing the instructor is no problem. Also, you pick the bike you want to ride at check in, so there’s no jostling with other class attendees to get to bikes when the doors open.

Originally, the class was supposed to be Tuesday night, but a snow storm caused a re-schedule for Thursday. The only problem with the re-schedule for me was, now the class was the night after I attended Beantown Bootcamp. I’d been limping around my office with sore legs from BB, but I wasn’t going to miss the Flywheel class with my Yelp Boston friends.

I don’t recommend taking a spin class when your legs are already so sore going in, but I listened to my body and didn’t push myself with as much resistance on the bike or movement off the seat as I would have if my legs felt fine.

The spin equipment at Flywheel was actually comfortable! I wasn’t scared being clipped into my bike this time. I liked the electronic board on your bike that showed the resistance level, your Revolutions Per Minute, and how much current you’ve generated.

The instructor for our class, Melinda Sarkis, was very motivating! She kept the class fun, and the throwback music pumping (Toto & MC Hammer played!).

I’m glad I attended. It was enjoyable to spin while knowing so many people in the room from other Yelp Boston events. (I made sure to give thumbs up to 2 friends who were spin newbies before the class started.)

I may actually return to try Flywheel again!

Thank you to Yelp Boston for planning the event (and for the sweet water bottle), Flywheel for hosting, and Fruitata for giving us delicious smoothies following the class.

Here’s a picture of (part of) the group after the class:

Flywheel Group

I’m on the front left, showing off my Yelp sweatband.

Working Out Can Be Fun! Ice Skating with Yelp Boston


On Wednesday night, my husband & I went ice skating at Community Skating in Kendall Square as part of Yelp Boston’s Free Skate event.

I haven’t been ice skating in years, but I had fun! I wore a helmet (due to a fear of falling). I didn’t need the helmet, but I was glad I wore it. I have no illusions of gracefulness. I’m a klutz!

I wouldn’t have thought to go ice skating this winter if it weren’t for Yelp Boston setting up this fun night out. The Community Manager for Yelp Boston, Damien, was taking pictures, and I’m sure he has some funny ones of me looking terrified. (But really, I DID have fun!)

I earned 5 Weight Watchers activity points on Wednesday – from a 2 mile walk during my lunch break, ice skating, and a walk to a restaurant for dinner & back home. My husband joked that my fear of falling may have actually earned more activity points for me, since it takes a lot more effort to move when you’re scared, than when you’re gracefully floating around the ice.

I’m glad I got past the fear and made some laps around the rink.