On Tuesday I bought tickets to see Ray Lamontagne when he comes to Boston in June.

You probably don’t know that you ever heard Ray….let me help you out:


See, I knew you knew him ūüėČ

Focus Lisa…

I have seen Ray live 4 times, most recently being for two sold out shows at the Bank of America Pavillion last August(with David Gray).

The tickets I bought for the upcoming June show were in Section 1, Row U.

Sweet!  That is the closest I have ever sat at a concert (except for the one time I saw Bruce Springstein dead front and center at the Garden).  I was psyched to sit the closest I have ever been to Ray.

I check my email this morning, on message was title “Your Ray Lamontange Tickets Have been Upgraded”


Here is what it said:

“Dear Fan,

Thank you for supporting Ray LaMontagne through the exclusive ticket presale.  Because we value your support as a fan, we are upgrading your seats!

You will receive your new locations via email – look for a new confirmation email to arrive shortly.

See you on the road ‚Äď

The Ray LaMontagne Ticketing Team”



The next email rocked my world:

“Ray LaMontagne
Reserved P1 All Ages
Sec SEC 2, Row A, Seats ( ¬† ¬†– ¬† ¬†)”

ROW A!!!  That is in the front people.  The most front you can get!  OMG.


FYI: Public ticket sales for the show go on sale Saturday,March 5th (the presale for the Boston show is already sold out)

File under: BEST. DAY. EVER.



Check, check, check it Out

I have a couple new favorite running songs that I added to my most recent itunes library and they make some kick ass running songs.  Check them out:

Esmee Denters: Love Dealr ft Justin Timberlake


Taio Cruz: Higher ft. Travie McCoy

Cobra Starship: The City is at War

After school, the sun was out and the temps didn’t seem too bad yet. ¬†I know that it is supposed to get pretty cold tonight and stay that way for the rest of the week, so I thought it would be best to take advantage and headed out for a run.

Of course I bundled up, wearing: a tank top, long sleeve shirt, white running jacket, gloves, a fleece band to cover my ears, and a hat to cover the fleece headband covering my ears ūüôā ¬†You can never be too prepared!

As you could guess I was sweating like crazy about 3 minutes into my run.

I didn’t have a planned route (which is highly unusual for me) and basically ran where ever the sidewalks were cleared. ¬†This made running through the North End very difficult!

Around mile 3 I popped a handful of Sports Beans (fruit punch flavored). ¬†I am trying to get the right timing and amount for my fuel while running longer distances. ¬†The handful of beans seemed to be timed just right as I didn’t lose energy during my run.


I ran 6.35 miles in 1:13 with an average pace of 11.29/mile.

I did a bit of dilly dallying when I stopped and chatted with Jack’s mom and tackled the unshoveled sidewalks in the North End.

Overall not a bad run.

My legs are sooooo tired. ¬†And weirdly, my armpits hurt. ¬†I don’t think that has anything to do with the run though!

Have a wonderful Tuesday night!



Anatomy of a my Playlists

With all these snow days I seem to be getting lately, I have been able to spend a majority of my time watching Jersey Shore reruns (hello Grenade whistle! ¬†The Stituation’s expressions are priceless) and looking for new music for my itouch.

OK Lisa,….

I listen to music…

when I cook

when I clean

when I am getting ready to go out

and of course, when I run!

The right playlist at the right time of day can work wonders for my motivation and mood.

I have….

5 o’clock music (Jack Johnson,Coldplay, David Gray, Ray Lamontange)

fall music (Norah Jones)

spring music (Dave Matthews Band)

mellow music for runs (Moby, John Mayer)

thinking music for runs (U2)

and power songs that get me through (Eminem, N.E.R.D, Akon)

When I put together a playlist I have to take a few things into account.

1) What kind of mood am I in? Especially when the playlist is going to be for workout purposes it is important for me to figure out my mood.  Sometimes I need to pump myself up and get my heart rate up, other times I will need something less intense and mellow.

2) What time of day will I be using my playlist? The type of music I listen to really depends on the time of day.  Music with a lot of base and a strong beat tend to make really good night-time music, as opposed to softer songs which I prefer in the afternoon.

3) What type of music fits my mood and time of day?

4) What kind of new music is out there? ¬†This is where the new feature in itunes, Ping, comes in handy. ¬†They give music suggestions based on your purchases and I have “discovered” many new artists and songs using their recommendations!

Now I know music choice is highly subjective, and songs I listen to during a run may not toot your horn but I am sure you know what I am talking about when I go through my song selection!

The most fun part is coming up with a name for the playlist!  I am not too creative but some of them are:

Swift Feet November Mixer

Mellow Runs 2010

June Evening Mixer

On the Darker Side

Here is my most current playlist for my next long run (7¬†miles!). ¬†It is titled “Sunshine Dreaming” for no other reason than I am sick of the snow!


Well,  I am off to shower and eat some lunch.  Tonight I have my second session at CrossFit this week and my body is still aching from the last one!

What songs do you think I should add to my itunes library?  What are the names of some of your playlists??



Letting the Universe Guide You….


I have no idea where my Thursday went!  I basically woke up in a panic at 9:50 thinking I would get a parking ticket (2 hour parking starts at 8), rushed to get ready, shoved a Luna Bar down my throat and headed to the gym.

Interestingly enough, I unintentionally drove past the gym and ended up at Target? Huh, well, I believe the Universe wanted me to buy something. So I did!

The new Ray CD “God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise”. ¬†Actually, I had to go to Best Buy because Target didn’t have it (WTF Target, seriously!)

I love the CD already because after seeing him two nights live I got a good feel for a few of the songs. ¬†I love all of them and think this is his best CD yet. ūüôā ¬†You definitely need to check it out NOW, please! And let me know what you think…

Last night I was so excited to go to the show again.  It was so fun taking Jack because he only listens to Ray when I make him listen in my car.  He really thought he was great.  He also loved David Gray!

The crowd was so into both sets and at the end they played TWO ENCORE songs together! ¬†The first was David’s “In the Morning” and the second was a cover of the Beatles’ song “Dig a Pony”. ¬†Perfect ending to a perfect night!

If the pictures look blurry it is probably because you need glasses, because they are crystal clear to me. ¬†Haha….my camera was not working with me last night..

Before the show we went to Morton’s in Boston’s Seaport. ¬†It is restaurant week so we got a salad, entr√©e, side, and dessert for $33.10 a piece. ¬†We got a great table overlooking the ocean on the patio.

We started with their onion crusted bread and butter

I got a Caesar salad

Petite filet (cooked medium) and mashed potatoes.

I also enjoy a Raspberry Pineapple Mor-tini (get it?!) and a glass of white wine.

Moving on…

I met Amy at the gym at 11 and came to the conclusion that it was quite possible I was still sleeping. ¬†My eyes were heavy and I didn’t want to move a muscle. ¬†But I did. ¬†Well, my back and triceps muscles at least.

Tonight for dinner I made some eggplant, which I baked and breaded and served it with whole wheat angel hair pasta.  Yum.  I used some sauce I froze before I left for Maine and it was the perfect spur if the moment meal.  I even made Jack his favorite pasta too! (Light sauced ziti with melted mozzarella cheese).

In a bit I am headed for drinks with some of my teacher friends who I am sure in as much disbelief that school starts a week from Monday!  After this weekend I got to get my boot-ay into the school and look at my new curriculum!



Running on Ray

Happy Tuesday Wednesday everyone! ¬†I actually sat to type up a post yesterday and got way side-tracked and was definitely in no condition to do so last night after the concert. ¬†Let’s say that I stayed out very late and did something I haven’t done in a while: shut the bar down, ha! ¬†I was, however, reminded this morning that I do not bounce back the way I use to ūüė¶ Boooo for getting old.

With that being said (and I don’t admit to hangovers very often so feel lucky I am admitting it now) I will not be gymming it today. ¬†I was going to take the noon spin class but I am opting for a full day of channel surfing on my couch and some napping.

While we are on the subject, let’s talk gym:

My goal (in case you forgot) is to run a 10K this fall in late October and I have found a training plan that I am starting Monday.  I think I will be adding a page to keep you updated on the runs.  Maybe some of you will train with me??

I picked the training plan because the six-day-a-week cycle combines running, cross training, strength training, and stretching.

Yesterday I unofficially began my training with a 2.5 mile run on the treadmill. ¬†It was really humid outside and I wanted to do weights too so running at the gym just made more sense. ¬†When running I kept it at a comfortable pace and tried not to wish it was over. ¬†Sometimes I can’t get my head into it but I pushed through. ¬†Note to self: I NEED NEW MUSIC!!

It was Leg Day so after my run I headed up to the top floor.  Amy and I planned a new routine a few weeks ago which cycled some oldie-but-goodie moves with a new (and super challenging) one.

Smith Machine Single-leg squat: (I did the modified version, a regular squat because one leg squats are like the hardest thing I have ever tried!) 3 sets of 10, 70lbs

Leg Press: 3 sets of 10, 100lbs

Deadlift: 3 sets of 12, 60lbs

Adductor Machine: 3 sets of 10, 90 lbs

Pre-gym snack:

After the gym I snacked on a sliced pink lady apple and a whole wheat pita with Trader Joe’s salted peanut butter. ¬†Yum! ¬†At first, when I switched to Trader Joe’s PB I didn’t like the taste because it wasn’t sweet at all. But then I realized that PB isn’t naturally sweet, it is the sugar and high fructose corn syrup that make Jiffy and such so sweet. ¬†After a little time for adjustment I like the real PB ūüôā

Of course we all know that last night was the concert of a lifetime: Ray Lamontagne and David Gray are co-headlining a tour. ¬†I went last night and I am going again tonight. ¬†Ray went on at 7:30 which was such an appropriate time for him. ¬†To me he is the perfect 5 o’clock music and for him to come on while the sun was setting and the sky was pink and orange was just impeccable timing. ¬†He played lots of songs from his new CD “God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise” which just came out yesterday, but also played some of his older music (Trouble and Shelter are two of my favorites, but he didn’t play Jolene ūüė¶ )

Ray and the Pariah Dogs (his band) did an amazing job. ¬†They really meshed well together and not one member stood out beyond the others. ¬†Even Ray wasn’t front and center, he was kiddie-cornered at the side of the stage. ¬†He is a very timid guy (because we are friends and I know this) so it seemed fitting that he wouldn’t be in the center of the stage.

This show was much different from his other shows I have seen. ¬†It wasn’t as intimate but I was just as mesmerized. ¬†I also¬†didn’t appreciate that people were still coming in and getting situated while he was playing. ¬†Usually concerts don’t start until 9 so I can understand why people may not have planned on being seated and ready so early. ¬†(I knew only because I Face Book stalk him ūüôā ) ¬†Good thing is, Ray didn’t seem to mind!

David Gray was awesome too.  His new CD came out yesterday but he played no new songs, which is fine by me!  I really like to sing at the top of my lungs at concerts so the fact that I new most of the songs really made me happy.

His set was high energy and I could tell the audience had their share of fun (and drinks?!) by the end of his set.  I loved the blues, yellows, and greens of his lighting.  Toward the very end, there was dancing and hooting in the aisles galore!

BEST MOMENT? When Ray joined David for the very last song: an acoustic version of the song “In the Morning”. ¬† Ahhhh, melt my heart ūüôā

I will leave you with one of Ray’s new songs called “New York City’s Killing Me” which he played last night. ¬†It is so lazy sounding. ¬†A perfect summer song. ¬†Goodness, I love this man!



Getting Back into the Swing of Things

What crazy weather we had today here in Boston! It was raining and a bit chilly when I left the house at 7 a.m. and by the time 2 p.m. rolled around the sun was pushing its way through the clouds¬†and the humidity shot through the roof. ¬†I do not generally enjoy the slimy feeling on my face and back when it gets humid ūüė¶ ¬†But then again, I am not sure too many people do!

*dramatization* I definitely don't wear pearls, ha

ANYWAY- I spent today running around doing errands and sweating my butt off so I am counting that as my workout.

I actually knew that it was going to be a busier day than I am used to this time of year (I only had like two things to do but neither was laying in the sun) so I made sure I went to the gym yesterday to hit the weights and do some cardio.  It was actually nice to WANT to be at the gym yesterday afternoon as a spur of the moment decision. Sometimes the downside of planning your gym sessions is planning your gym sessions, know what I mean? Most of the time it helps me mentally prepare but sometimes is stops me dead in my tracks (the latter has been happening A LOT since Hawaii).

Going yesterday reminded me of how empty the gym is around noon on Sundays and I really enjoyed having space to myself.

As I said I was going to, I spent much of this weekend thinking about all the workouts I have been skipping since getting back and I am happy to say that I think I have gotten my motivation back!  Last week my gym buddy and I were on opposite schedules so I had to force myself to get up and at it.  To be honest, it may have been what I needed!  Sometimes there is no substitution for having to drag yourself to the gym.  Because nobody is responsible for my health but me it was important to me mentally to get myself there (as opposed to doing it for someone else if that makes sense).

On Friday I shared with you my three steps to getting back into the swing of things. The three steps (planning, prepping, and setting goals) have really helped me get back at it in the past. ¬†I’d like to share my P.O.A (plan of action, peeps!)

1) PLANNING MY WEIGHTS: I am going to be doing my gym sessions around 10 in the morning four days a week for a few weeks until school starts.  The gym sessions will be broken into four-day splits where I will focus on one to two muscles groups per day (and abs three days): back and triceps, chest and biceps, legs, and shoulders (details to follow).

2) PLANNING CARDIO: ¬†My cardio has been lagging more than my strength training and for that reason I know I need to switch it up and/or find a focus. ¬†I really enjoy running but I haven’t challenged myself with it much. ¬†First I want to note that I DO NOT WANT TO BE FASTER (yet)! ¬†I am not looking to win races, but I do want to run LONGER. And that is where the exciting (for me) part comes in! ¬†I am going to sign up for a 10K race with my sights on a half-marathon! I am already pretty sure I could make the six miles already but I found a training plan I want to use so I can do it up right! ¬†I also like how the plan I found incorporates running, cross training, strength training and stretching (which I don’t do regularly, bad Lisa). ¬†So I am going to start the 8 week plan Monday and then I am on the search to find a 10K sometime toward the end of October.

3) GOALS: a 10k!

In food news, I made myself some gingerbread tonight using a mix made by Hodgson Mill.

Minimal ingredients on the label is a plus and it was super easy to make: add milk, butter, egg. ¬†Mix and bake! ¬†I added chocolate chips (duh!) and am anticipating my cup of tea and a huge warm slice of gingerbread ūüôā ¬†YUM! ¬†I love my sweet tooth!

On a final note tomorrow is THE DAY I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR! ¬†It is Ray Day! ¬†Months ago I got Ray-D.D when I found out he was coming to Boston to play two shows with David Gray. ¬†I can’t believe that show is tomorrow! ¬†I am going with Maureen and Amy on Tuesday and then with Jack on Wednesday. ¬†Hopefully I will be able to sleep tonight.

Any 10K words of advice??  or races you can suggest??



Empty Bottles and Old School Jams

Now that it is the weekend I will waste no time thinking about the past week (which happened to feel like it would never end) and spend all my time looking forward to a sunny, warm, LONG weekend.  I don’t want to think about the three weeks left of school or any cleaning or recording keeping that I need to do when I return next week!  I want to focus on this long weekend- ESPECIALLY my race tomorrow!

My Friday seemed to slip right passed me!  Yesterday morning I made some Apple Pie Oatmeal for breakfast.  I added a little too much nutmeg and cinnamon though, as you can tell from the dark brown color.

Apple Pie Oatmeal:

  • ¬Ĺ cup rolled oats
  • ¬Ĺ cup vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat pancake mix
  • 1 tablespoon apple butter
  • 1 tsp (NOT TABLESPOON) of both cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon crushed pecans
  • 1 apple diced

Preheat oven at 350.  Dice apple and place 2/3 in a mug filled with water.  Microwave for 90 seconds.  Drain water and add to bowl with other ingredients, then transfer to glass baking dish.  Top with remaining 1/3 apple.  Cook for 20 minutes.

I tried to eat as much as I could, which wasn’t very much, before the spicy flavor of the nutmeg made it too much to bear.  Luckily for me, we were having another school wide breakfast so I had a half of a cinnamon scone with a big bowl of fresh fruit.  This has been a week of adding new foods to my LOVE list: avocados and guacamole and kiwi.  How did I live 28 years without them?


Have you fallen in love with a new food lately? ¬†What made you try it? I have recently tried mango, kiwi, avocado, honey-dew melon, and cantaloupe. ¬†Yum! ¬†When I try new foods, I just kind of don’t think about texture/taste and try it, and usually end up liking it!

Last night I had Amy, Andrea, and Maureen over for a pasta dinner.  Amy, Maureen, and I are running a 5 mile race tomorrow so I wanted to do a little carb loading (and drink some wine).

To start us off, Amy brought a bottle of Ladybug White wine and some home-made brushetta that she prepped at home and assembled at my house.  She diced up tomatoes and mixed them with EVOO, garlic, and a bunch of spices.  She also cooked some sliced baguette drizzled with EVOO.  When she got to my place she topped each baguette with tomatoes, some freshly chopped basil leaves, and fresh sliced mozzarella cheese.

Then we baked it in the oven at 350 degrees until the cheese melted.

MMMMM, I am like a hundred of these babies.  They are so summer-y and refreshing.  I must make these myself sometime!

For dinner I baked some zucchini which I breaded with whole wheat breadcrumbs after dipping them in egg whites.  I baked them in the oven at 350 until super brown and crispy.  Using a meatloaf pan, I layered the baked zucchini with a lot of my home-made marinara sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese.

I served it with some Hodgson Mill whole wheat pasta and extra sauce.

A lot of wine accompanied the meal!

Maureen made dessert: BROWNIES! Her secret weapon in these:  a can of black beans (YES, black beans) drained and pureed until super smooth.  Then she just mixed them in with a box of brownie mix.  No egg, no oil!  She said they are 2 points per serving in Weight Watcher world.

While we ate dessert we You-Tubed some old school slow jams, fun! ¬†I remembered going to Super Jam at the Garden when I was in 8th grade. ¬†The big act that year was Coolio and I knew every single word to Gansta’s Paradise. ¬†I actually still know all the words! ¬†We also listened to:

  • Keith Sweat (Twisted and Nobody)
  • SWV (Weak)
  • Blackstreet (No Diggity)
  • New Edition
  • KC and Jo Jo
  • Dru Hill
  • Boys 2 Men

It was fun reminiscing because even though none of us knew each other in those middle school days- we still basically have the same memories, just from different schools!

What are your favorite old school jams??

Well the sun is shining and I am going to hit up the beach with the girls.  Low key day at the beach, making my playlist, early bed, and RACE day tomorrow!

Enjoy the sun!