And the Fun In Between… Aerial Yoga at Kickstart Fitness and Nutrition

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to take an Aerial Yoga class with Blog & Tweet NH. Our Aerial Yoga class was at Kickstart Fitness and Nutrition, located in Sandown, NH. Our trainer was Karlene Murphy. Karlene has a vast expertise- she is certified as a Fitness Trainer, Yoga Instructor, Pilates Instructor, Nutrition Specialist and Wellness Coach. She also has her black belt in Martial Arts. She started by showing us a bit of what can be done…

IMG_0520 1897767_852345790363_424238307_n just some ab workIMG_0513
IMG_0507 1970444_852346678583_1023316404_n

Kickstart Fitness and Nutrition currently has two yoga swings, so we went two at a time. With me was Kristen, of Good ‘N Good For Ya. Karlene started by asking us what types of workouts we did, so she would understand us better while we were learning Aerial Yoga. Now, this is the first time I’ve done yoga in an organized fashion (aka not on my Wii Fit), so I can’t recall what we did by name- but we have plenty of pictures to share (special thanks to Marlana, Candra and Amber for helping with that!).

1617176_197233723819219_572802105_o 1658357_197233783819213_623094873_o 1921246_197233637152561_1871612195_o  1962127_197233853819206_606684102_o 1973546_197233937152531_141961427_o“jump into the swing, just like you are a kid again”

IMG_0532 IMG_0535 IMG_0543  IMG_0540  IMG_0545  IMG_0547 IMG_0554 IMG_0555 IMG_0558  IMG_0560  IMG_0564

 to end our session, we were encouraged to swing 🙂

IMG_0569 IMG_0568 IMG_0567


After our session, Karlene shared her Yogurt Protein Energy Balls with us- so good- you almost didn’t know they were good for you!

This class was a lot of fun, and something different. Different parts of my muscles ached the next two days- in that good, I worked hard way. Any stretch you can do, any yoga position, you can do better and deeper.

Prior to taking this class, I had heard about Aerial Yoga being great for people with back issues, and let me tell you, it certainly stretched me out well! If you take a class with Karlene, tell her about your life- she showed me stretches to do based on the fact that I sit in a cube for 40 hours a week.

I enjoyed it so much, I bought a yoga swing and have a time set up to learn more!

Interested in setting up a time with Karlene?
Shop-workshops-classes-coaching sessions- Ebooks
Visit her Blog
Like her on Facebook


100_1432A few days before the Boston Wine Expo, we received an email that we could enter to win two tickets for one of the sessions at the Boston Wine Expo. The sessions that were part of this were:




We responded that we were interested, and were the bloggers chosen to attend LOVE BREWS FOR CHEESES OF THE VENETO, which we would actually attend before the wine expo.

LOVE BREWS FOR CHEESES OF THE VENETO was held on Saturday, February 15th at 12:00pm. Tickets were $25pp. The event’s description:

“Join epicurean and beloved Italian Cheese Guru Lou Di Palo for a whirlwind tour of the Veneto’s fabulous DOP cheeses and fall in Love Italian Style – this Valentine’s Day Weekend!

Sample Piave, Asiago and Grana Padano cheeses paired with a premium selection of Italian Artisanal Beers from Tenute Collesi. Taste along while Lou explains how to effortlessly pair Italian Cheese and Artisanal Cheese.

And to complete this simply divine experience, special guest chef Stefano Palermo of Risotteria Melotti will stir up a traditional Risotto dish from the region!

Leave with hands on cheese tasting, artisanal beer pairing experience, a go- to risotto recipe and a treasure trove of helpful hints that will make entertaining friends and family a breeze in both formal and informal settings.”

On the day of the event, we took the T in, which is one of the easiest ways to get into the Seaport World Trade Center, where the Boston Wine Expo was being held. The Trade Center is right on the Silver Line, and easy to get to. 

IMG_0428 Having never attended the Boston Wine Expo, or one of their sessions, we were not quite sure what to expect. We arrived early, checked in for our passes, and then went upstairs to where the sessions were being held. You could purchase tickets before entering the sessions, if there was room remaining, or have your tickets on hand. Our tickets were through EventBrite, so we were able to store them on my phone- which made things easier (less to lose on the way in!). We went to the Session area about 15-20 minutes before it began. 100_1326Some sessions were letting people in as they arrived, ours wasn’t until it was time. When the session was about ready to begin, they let us enter the room. 100_1329There were 5 rows of tables, split into 5 people on each side. Each seat had a setup of: 3 wine glasses, a plate of cheese, mustard and cherries, a booklet and pen as well as a fork, napkin and water glass. IMG_0429 100_1328  100_1327

The session began with an introduction from Antonio Lucarelli, the Deputy Trade Commissioner of the Food and Wine section, from New York. He informed us that the session would be the on the study of the region of Veneto, which is most famous for Prosecco. He then introduced Lou Di Palo, who would be running the show for the remainder of the session. Lou is from an Italian family, and is the fourth generation of his family to run DiPalo Selects in Little Italy, New York.100_1342

Lou told us a bit of history of Italy, of Italy as we know it and Italy before it was Italy. Italy as we know it is very young, formed only in the 1860s. We heard about the Dolomite Mountains in Venice; how the mountains are beautiful and change colors throughout the course of a day. From brown, to white, like snowcaps, to the color of roses. The richness of the fertile grounds in that area, with the combination of the free grazing cows, resulted in great cheese.
We learned the stories of the individual cheeses. In the Poe River Area, the “bread basket of Italy,” land was wasted due to being controlled by Barbarians. About 1,000 years ago, monks reclaimed the land and used cows to revive the land from swamp to usable. This resulted in too much milk, so they made it into cheese. They cut cheese curds into rice grains, packed it down into a form, and added sea salt. Sea salt is the “secret ingredient” many Italian cheese makers use which helps it to stand the test of time.
The stories Lou told us weren’t told in a lecture way, but instead in a way that brought you in. Although Mark and I haven’t ever thought about traveling to Italy, it made us think about it.

Our tasting:100_1335

Artisanal Beers were from Tenute Collesi. The technique of the beer is the ancient way made by monks. The beers are unpasteurized, and naturally fermented.

Chiara: light, bubbily, honey100_1336
paired with

  • Asiago Pressato Dop: fresh, soft, nice buttery milk flavor. Made with only whole milk.
  • Asiago D’Allevo Oro Del Tempo Dop: aged, made with whole and skim milk. Almost had a nuttier flavor. We felt this one paired better with the beer.

Bionda: smells similar to a pale ale, with a coriander type note. Fruity in flavor.

paired with

  • Plave Stravecchio Oro Del Tempo Dop: nutty, smooth. Aged 12+ months. From the most modern cheese factory in Italy- the cheese maker is a computer! All cheese is made in a small wheel, coming from area farms. There are about 500-600 farmers involved, using brown and grey cows. This was one of Megan’s favorites.

Rossa: nutty. Megan enjoyed this beer with the Black Cherry and Cheese combo best.100_1345

  • Grana Padano Stravecchio Oro Del Tempo Dop: grainy- from the separation of fat and protein. Tried this with a Black Cherry as well, which made it almost dessert like! Wow!100_1350

We also tried a fruit mustard, from Lazzaris. Mark enjoyed it, however, Megan was not a huge fan.

We loved the tasting! The cheese was amazing, and it was great to try Italian beers. The beers reminded us of sparkling wine in some ways. The only thing we would have changed about the tasting, is that sometimes we were uncertain about which cheese was next. We knew the name of it, but not which one it was on our plate. We did our best to guess, and think we did pretty well. We also weren’t sure if we could eat all of each cheese, or if we were going back to any later to try with a different beer. We loved how the session was presented as well.

The last part of the tasting was an absolute treat! Chef Stefano Palermo of Risotteria Melotti, in New York City, made us a delicious Risotto- which we were given the recipe for. “Amarone Risotto in Grana Padano Cups.” Ours was served with a Padano chip instead of in a cup.
This was delicious and I can’t wait to make it myself! Here is the recipe, courtesy of Agriform, if you are also intrigued…


Amarone Risotto in Grana Padano Cups, serves 4
1c Amarone della Valpolicella wine
1 ½ c Melott Vialone Nano Veronese Rice
5 c beef stock
2 tbsp butter
3oz Agriform Grana Padano DOP cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste
Parsley for decoration

  • For the Grana Padano: Heat a small, nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Sprinkle 2 tbso of the cheese into a 4in circle in the middle of the skillet. Cook until the circle starts to hold together as you lift it off the pan and the bottom is starting to brown, about 1 minute. Flip, and cook for an additional 15 seconds. Transfer to an upside down cup and press down to give the desired shape. Repeat 4 times.
  • For the Risotto:
    • In two separate pans, bring wine and stock to a simmer, then keep both warm over low heat
    • In a third pot, melt 1 tbsp butter, then add rice and cook, stirring to coat with the butte, about 2 minutes.
    • Add wine and cook, stirring continuously for about 30 seconds until wine is almost completely absorbed. Add a ladleful of stick at a time, stirring constantly. Wait until almost all of the stock has been absorbed before adding more. Continue cooking and adding stick until rice is tender but firm to the bite, about 25 minutes
    • Remove pot from heat and vigorously stir in remaining butter and Grana Padano DOP cheese.
    • Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place cheese cups on four plates. Divide Risotto evenly between the four plates, filling cups and garnishing with parsley.

Newburyport Brewing Company, Newburyport, Mass- visit 41

Newburyport Brewing Company, located in Newburyport, Massachusetts has been open since 2012. It was the idea of Chris Webb & Bill Fisher, locals who like beer and great music. It is located in an industrial park and is fairly easy to find. The outside of the building is very distinctive.


Their tasting room is more than just a tasting room- you get the feeling that it is a place to go and hangout. Bill and Chris’s 8-piece funk band plays there, as well as other local bands. You can go in and have a tasting, or a pint. It is a nice, big room with a twelve seat bar, and two-twelve seat tables as well as a Foosball table, as well as plenty of space for their live music.


Our tasting:


The Signature Beers

Plum Island Belgian White: good, citrus-y, with coriander. Unfiltered witbier. 5.4% alc

Newburyport Pale Ale: hoppier than a typical pale ale… almost an IPA. Slightly citrus-y with a light toasted sweet malt finish. I wasn’t feeling the hoppiness when we went- just one of those days. Mark enjoyed the hoppiness 5.5% alc

GreenHead IPA: a West Coast style IPA. Almost a double IPA 7.2% alc

On Rotation at the Time

Double IPA: almost has a candy/chocolaty/sweet caramel feel

Joppa Stout (1635): great mocha smell. Easy to drink stout. We went home with a growler of this

Mark enjoyed all of the beers, with the Plum Island Belgian White being his favorite. He enjoyed the Double IPA for the different flavor, but wasn’t sure how much he would be able to drink. Mark didn’t have a beer he disliked. I, on the other hand, was not in the hoppy mood.

The brewery only cans and kegs and started distributing about 8 months ago. They choose to use aluminum cans instead of glass bottles, for many reasons. Aluminum keeps the beer cooler longer, and can naturally protect beer from light and oxygen. Aluminum is more likely to be recycled than glass, and is easier to do so. 

The tastings are free (which is great for the amount that you get!!), and once you find one you enjoy you are encouraged to buy a pint and hang out. It is a very welcoming place and we would love to go back.

Oh, one other thing. They have really cute sweatshirts- with their logo as seen on the building. The last of the women’s sweatshirt, with the small logo across the front was purchased while we were there. It was cute, and didn’t scream BEER unless you were in the know 🙂 If we are able to go there again, one of those zippered sweatshirts will be going home with me.

Want to visit? 
Thursday & Friday: 3:00pm to 8:00pm
Saturday: 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Tours: Fri & Sat at 5:00pm


Jewell Town Vineyard, South Hampton NH #44 (a little out of order)

100_1281We recently visited Jewell Towne Vineyard. We decided it was a great idea to go out during a snow storm, which in a way was true. Not that fun to get there (for me, although luckily Mark drove) but once we found Jewell Towne, we were the only ones there. We had just missed two car loads of people. IMG_0269
Jewell Towne is located in South Hampton, New Hampshire and is very close to the Massachusetts border. We were in New Hampshire, and drove through Massachusetts to get there. It is a little difficult to find, so pay attention to their directions as found on their website.100_1280  100_1279   100_1283  100_1282

Time Line:
1982- owners Peter and Brenda planed six grapevines
1990- Jewell Towne was established
1994- Jewell Towne Vineyards became a licensed commercial winery
1998- the winery was built, a 18th century reproduction


  • Since they began, Peter has helped other wineries become established in the area, offering his knowledge of viticulture. Peter leads the way for the wine industry for New Hampshire. Peter has also helped with legislation in regards to the the winery industry.
  • Jewell Town is New Hampshire’s oldest winery
  • They have won over 150 medals in national and international competitions
  • Their upstairs art gallery features local artists, as well as Brenda’s work
  • They produce 6 thousand cases of wine every year
  • Their wine can be found in over 150 stores and restaurants in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, as well as at many Farmer’s Markets (Portsmouth, Concord, Greenland, Newburyport, Middleton and Gloucester)
  • Their tours as well as their tastings are FREE
  • You won’t find other fruits here- they produce only traditional style wines
  • They currently have 5 acres of grapevines
  • Many grapes they use are grown there, but some are contracted in (due to climate)

IMG_0270 IMG_0274

IMG_0271the tasting bar

Our tasting:

Not all wines are open at once. They have a dry-erase board with their current offerings, and you may choose 6IMG_0272

Aurore: hints of green apple, dry

Riesling: hints of honey and orange

Seyval 2012: “off dry” description fit well. Not too fruity, good plum flavor

Vignoles 2012: honey and lemon flavor. Off dry

Traminette: relative of Gewurztraminer. Had a touch of sweetness to it

Steuben: sweet rose with flavors of ripe strawberry and fresh pineapple. yum!

Leon Millot: smooth, off-dry. Light red wine with cherry and black raspberry flavors.

Sparkling Marechal Foch: unintentional (sparkling) wine. Festive flavor. Good for sangria.

Rhapsody in Blue: ice wine. Strong hints of honey. yum!

Everyone there was very friendly. The two women who were working in the tasting room, as well as Peter. It was one of the women’s first day there, but it didn’t show. All were very knowledgeable and friendly. Jewell Towne Vineyard would be a good place to go for those who know their wine, as well as those that are new to wine.

100_1295  100_1294  100_1292

Want to visit?
Hours of Operation: 
11am – 4pm Wednesday through Friday
11am – 5pm Saturday and Sunday
Be sure to visit their website before you plan your visit
so you don’t get lost!