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run + eat + drink

traditions + total body + the happiest place on earth

I love traditions.

Whether it’s cooking a turkey on the first NFL Sunday with my dad, midnight mass on Christmas Eve, or a summer BBQ with old friends every June 15th, there is just something so wonderfully comforting about age-old customs.

No matter how small or large, these traditions are special because they’re mine. And mostly because they usually involve food.

So this weekend, I engaged a weekly tradition with a familiar restaurant + a classic dessert, did a KILLER total body workout and experienced one of Long Island’s longest standing Sunday Funday rituals.


Although some of my favorite traditions have been handed down to me, others foster significance because I created them. And over time I’ve learned that some of the greatest traditions begin by accident, and for that reason, Thursday date night has a very special place in my heart.

[PSA: This is gonna get a little sappy/romantic, but bear with me because the food pics are awesome]

Bushwick, Brooklyn, known for it’s crazy colorful + innovative graffiti, has become one of my favorite neighborhoods. One which I visited for our first date nearly six months ago on a cold, winter, Thursday. And this week, I couldn’t help familiar butterflies when we revisited the restaurant where it all began, The Rookery.

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This time around, we dined on the Oxtail Sloppy Joe + the Samosa Veggie Burger, both innovative takes on traditional menu items. And with fresh ingredients like spiced potatoes + mango chutney + tzatziki, this meal was nothing short of delicious.

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Add a generous glass of 2003 Pinot Noir and I had all of my favorite things at one table.

Fully immersed in the photo taking process, I didn’t even notice the sneaky recreation taking place across from me. He said, “Mol” and I looked up from behind my camera to him handing me a small napkin rose — just like that first date.

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I guess he’s a keeper 🙂

Of course, we couldn’t conclude a meal without some well deserved end of the week dessert, so we ventured to The Meatball Shop.

But if I’m being honest, this place should be renamed the Ice Cream Sandwich Shop — because those bad boys stole the show. I’ll let the photos of the house made Choco Chip Cookie + Blueberry Ice Cream Sandwich do the talking here.

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So after a few treats, yet again this athlete boyfriend mind put me through the workout to make it all okay. Here’s the Saturday total body sweat sesh that kicked my butt up and down.


5K Treadmill HIIT:

  • 4 mins II 6.5 mph
  • 1 min II 8 mph


  • 30 sec. II 8.5 mph
  • 15 sec. II 9 mph
  • 15 sec. II 9.5 mph



2000 meters on stationary rowing machine

(This will take about 8 minutes depending how quickly you row. 8 minutes of total body hell. But wonderfully worth it)


  • 3 sets of 15 II alt. step up lunges with 10 lb. DB
  • 3 sets of 15 II kettlebell squat to push press
  • 3 sets of 15 II med ball throws with bosu ball crunches

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Normally I wouldn’t include an activity like this on the blog, but this Sunday I experienced perhaps one of the most important Long Island traditions and simply had to share it.

Every Sunday in Hampton Bays, NY a little (HUGE) place called the Boardy Barn welcomes a Sunday Funday for the record books. And what an unforgettable experience it was.

Deemed the Happiest Place on Earth — basically a HUGE bar surrounded by a large circus-like tent. It is open one day a week for 6 hours — Sunday.

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It is a $20 cover but once you’re within the Barn walls, beers are $2 and the smiles are free. Each guest is given a roll of yellow smiley stickers to place on themselves + other happy guests. All the while AWESOME 90s favorites are blasting from the DJ booth.

We arrived at 9:00am and I quickly realized why as the line to get in began to grow around the block. On any given Sunday the Boardy Barn hosts 800-1000 thirsty visitors. And while it may not be something I frequent, I’m happy to say that I survived the Barn with the biggest smile.

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Needless to say though, even as I write this, a detox is in order. And if you happen to fall victim to day drinking, try this: lemon + cayenne pepper in a HUGE water bottle. Promise you’ll be feeling brand new in no time.


So whether you’re remembering a first date on Thursdays, or drinking with Long Island’s finest on Sundays, the only important part of traditions is that you keep them.

What a weekend.

Happy Monday, Kids.

Run far, eat well, drink better.

xo Mol




About Molly Tavoletti

Stay hungry, stay foolish I NY, NY


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