Santa Shuffle & So Much Christmas Spirit

I dressed partially like Santa on Saturday, so Christmas spirit is officially in full effect! Actually, every day of this weekend was bursting with Christmas spirit, which makes me oh so happy!

Friday night was a lazy one. After work I ran a few errands, one of which included picking up my bib and Santa suit for Saturday’s Santa Shuffle. After that, it was dinner and a Christmas movie to round out my evening. Perfect!

On Saturday I tried sleeping in, but was awake at 8. I actually forget what I did, but I think my morning was just full of relaxing and eating? Around 11:30 I went out with my parent’s to pick out their family Christmas tree. Every year we go to Faulkner’s, and every year the tree picking process goes quicker and quicker!

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There’s Daddio leading the way! Well, tree expert #2 lead us to the back to show us an 8-foot tree that was perfect that he hadn’t put out yet.

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I want this to be my bedroom. I <3 Christmas trees!Faulkners-landscaping

The special tree was too big, so we went back out front and grabbed a winning tree. Every year I take this same picture, and every year it makes me so happy. I love the quaint, local country feeling I get when I’m here.Faulkners-landscaping

I officially want to work on a farm or at a local landscaping store. That seems like the perfect Hallmark/Lifetime Christmas movie plot to me!Faulkners-landscaping

I ran a few errands and got a few things done, before it was time to head downtown to run the Santa Shuffle! So many Santas!!!! I actually had so much trouble finding a parking spot, that by the time I went to the porta-potty, threw my Santa coat on and pinned my bib, the National Anthem began and the 90 second countdown began. Needless to say that I was NOT ready for this race simply because I felt so rushed!Millennium-Running-Santa-Shuffle

Post-race picture with Jaime and Melissa! Millennium-Running-Santa-Shuffle

BUT…. I surprised myself. Not only did the run feel amazing (I felt like I was flying and had feather legs), but I hit my fastest/best race pace ever, and finished the fastest that I ever have! I placed 51 in my division of Females 20-29, which made me feel awesome. The only time I struggled was the last half mile, where I was more than ready for some water.Millennium-Running-Santa-Shuffle

After the race, the 3 of us walked about 5 blocks down to join Jaime’s mom and her friends at The Farm. Millennium-Running-Santa-Shuffle

We snagged their window seats, and enjoyed watching the parade from indoors.Millennium-Running-Santa-Shuffle

Santa and Mrs. Claus!Christmas-ParadeWe left a little after 6, and went our own ways. I went home for dinner, a shower and a Christmas movie. It just doesn’t get old!

Sunday morning started with a solid workout at the gym. 15 minutes of HIIT running, followed by a tough shoulder workout.

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Breakfast, groceries, meal prep, blogging, and errands all happened next, before I headed over to my parent’s house to help decorate the tree!

Christmas TreeHow was your December weekend? What did you do?

Have you ever or would you ever run a Santa themed race?

Day in the Life: Gym, Whole30 Eating & Christmas Decor!

In work terms, today is technically Thursday, and I’m loving this ultra-short week. Fingers crossed that we get out of work early on Wednesday, but if not, I will still soak in having Thursday-Sunday off!

I haven’t written a day in the life post in a bit, so I figured this would be a good day to do so. Don’t get too excited, nothing thrilling happened, just a typical Monday in the life of me.

My workouts have finally begun to get better, and I’m finding that my motivation to lift weights has returned! Yesterday I started with a 10 minute warm-up walk and a 20 minute run, before getting a back workout in. I’m spending more time warming up because it takes me forever and a day to actually wake up and find the energy I need for my workouts. Overall throughout the day I never feel tired or sluggish, but it certainly takes my body getting used to not relying on pre-workout. Is it weird that the first thing I want to reintroduce after the Whole30 is pre-workout? Yup, not peanut butter. I’m sure over the next 15 days my energy will only get better in the morning, but it’s still a bit of a struggle!

imageThat being said, I hit the point in the Whole30 where I no longer have headaches, feel like I need a nap, or hate things/people! Woo! Today marks day 15; I’m halfway there!! I dug into my breakfast, which was Nature’s Place chicken sausage, roasted sweet potatoes, avocado, and un-pictured eggs. I then continued to plug away at work, doing work things.

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Around 1:30 I dug into my lunch, which was baked chicken, mashed sweet potatoes, and avocado. It might sound boring, but I enjoy it, it works for me, and I feel healthy eating it, so there ya go! Sometimes you just have to be low-key, and I’d like to think that my breakfast and dinners are more fun and pack the flavors, like my meat sauce and roasted veggies!

whole30-dinnerOver the weekend I prepped A LOT of food, so it’s nice having all of my work meals already in Tupperware for the week. This makes life so much easier, and I went into the week feeling minimal stress. Mashed sweet potatoes for lunch, broccoli for dinner, cubed butternut squash (in the fridge) for dinners, beef for dinner, hard-boiled eggs and avocados for breakfast, bananas for possible snacks, and my breakfast and lunches. The top meal container is chicken sausage and sweet potatoes, and once at work, I mash hard-boiled egg whites with 1/2 of an avocado. The 2nd dish is 2/3 complete, but I add the avocado to the plate at lunch time.

whole30-prepNow that the only cooking I need to do after work is to just saute veggies for dinner and reheat meat, I’m back to having my nights practically free to relax. I decided to get a jump on setting up my Christmas tree. Several years ago I bought a 6 1/2 foot fake tree for about $25 at Target thanks to my team member discount, my debit card discount and the after-Christmas sale prices, so I’m finally putting it to use! Ahhhh, this makes me so happy! Now I just need to buy some more ornaments, a skirt and a topper!

Christmas-TreeI had Christmas music on full blast while setting up my tree, and once complete, I nestled up with Elf and the smell of Christmas. Buddy is my spirit animal <3333 Elf is currently on sale at Target for $6! I bought it over the weekend since we have a family copy of the movie. Christmas movies every night, yeah!!

elfI ended my evening with my current read, It Starts with Food.

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What book are you currently reading?

When do you put your Christmas tree up?

Have you started watching Christmas movies yet? Is there a movie that you always have to watch first to kick off the season?

Usually for me it’s The Family Stone, but that didn’t happen!

Christmas Is Officially Over Weekend

As of Saturday evening, Christmas is officially over for my family. I spent a wonderful extra-extra-long weekend with my immediate family, and both sides of my parents family. What I love most about Christmas is that you get to spend time with the people that you love, and just enjoy quality time with them. As we get older, it’s not about the gifts, and more about being in the moment with those that you care about.

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Friday

My company was given Friday off as a holiday, so I took full advantage of it. I slept in until about 8:30, before going out for a run. I wasn’t too comfy, as I had gone out for a run on Christmas morning. Friday’s run was good for the first mile, until mile 1.5 when I got both a side stitch AND a “monthly” cramp. At mile 3 I just decided to stop, and did a few weighted ab exercises before calling it a day.

At 1, Gerry and I headed out to run a few errands at the mall and a few other local places. We were quickly exhausted, so we settled on the couch to watch one episode of Dexter (our new show), before he left for work and I completed a few returns.

I got home around 6, and happily dug into an egg sandwich. I felt so so so exhausted and all I wanted to do was veg out. I watched Harry Potter #2 while doing my nails. The gift I wanted the most was this Thermal Space Gel nail machine to give yourself shellac nails. Lisha told me about it a few months ago, and I immediately decided I needed it.

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Once my nails were all set, I moved to the couch and flipped between Harry Potter, Seinfeld, Modern Family, and the Kardashians. Can you tell that I was really uncertain of what I wanted to watch?

In bed before 9. Much needed!

Saturday

When I woke up around 8, I really wasn’t sure if I wanted to workout. My body felt a little sore, mostly from the running, but I knew I wanted to do something. I needed it to be quick, as we had my Mom’s family’s Christmas party this day. I did a pretty intense upper body workout, before getting 25 minutes of cardio in. It was quick and what I needed. In my new ASICS GEL-Fit Sana training shoes.

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It was then clean, clean, clean. Cook, cook, cook. I managed to shower, do laundry, prep some food, and clean up, before it was time for our Christmas party. I only see my cousins about once a year, unless there is a graduation type of party, so it was nice to see everyone again!

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Once everyone left a little after 5, we cleaned up the house, before having a game night. We started off with 4 rounds of Sequence. Ryan & Chels vs Mom & Dad vs Gerry & I. And then a free for all with Uno. Such a fun night!

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Around 10, it was definitely time for bed, so I snuggled up with this fur ball while reading for a little bit.

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Sunday

Nothing felt better than sleeping in until 9:15. I spent several hours doing a little bit of blog work while I worked up an appetite.

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Since today was a complete rest day, I took a quick shower around 11:30, and dug into an egg & cheese sandwich that I made with my easy eggwich maker.

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And then it was off to the movies with the fam, Ry & Chels to catch the 12:30 viewing of Wild. This movie was SO good, and it made me want to go out for a hike.

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The rest of my afternoon was spent running a few errands, and watching a bit of football on the couch with the boys.

What was the highlight of your Christmas weekend?

Have you seen Wild yet?

Scenes From Christmas

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas full of family, friends and fabulous food! My day was more than amazing, and I only wish the same for you! Here’s a quick glance into my day.

Made an egg sandwich the “Easy Eggwich” maker that I got for free, to fuel the unwrapping of gifts.

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Watched the best Christmas movie ever while opening gifts.
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Kippy loved his new stuffed bunnie.

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It was 50 degrees out on Christmas, so I headed out for an unmerry 3.5 mile run. The wind was insane, and it just was a struggle of a run.

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So happy that Ryan and Chelsey were home for Christmas this year. Next year I will pout when they’re not.

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Love my family.

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At 3, we headed over to my uncles for the afternoon and evening. Lucas pointed to every bulb and said “pretty.”

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Ryan and Lucas matched dead on. I think this is even cuter  because Lucas isn’t Ryan’s son.

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Remember how we had no power on Thanksgiving? Well we lost power for about an hour when we were right about to start eating dinner. At this point, it was just funny, so we made it enjoyable.

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My Secret Santa knows me too well. I also received a box of the Cookies & Cream bars from my parents, so I am in the money!
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My Aunt Mare’s mix that gets me every single time. <3333333

Aunt-Mares-MixWhat was your favorite dessert yesterday?

Aunt Mare’s mix always wins. No matter what.

Did Santa bring you anything good?

New running stuff! (Gift card to the running store, Nike running tights, 2 hats, etc!) Shellac nail set!

 

Scenes From My Weekend

This was a whirlwind of a weekend that didn’t provide much downtime. If I was relaxing, there was always something going on.

I started my Friday night on the couch watching a Hallmark Christmas movie, before it was time to head over to Al & Kris’.

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We chatted from about 6:30 until 9:30. Talking about work, life, dating, and the good ol’ days of high school and college. Their cats are ridiculous. They were never this promiscuous when we lived together.

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I stayed up way too late Friday night… probably like midnight, so waking up at 7ish to get my run in was super incredibly painful. I covered 3.45 miles and then I thought I was going to faint so I stopped .05 miles short of my goal, which is really annoying since I am so anal about my runs.

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I had to shower super-duper quick, as my Dad and I had our annual “Father/Daughter Last Minute Christmas Shopping Day” to take part in. Once we were done, I changed into a warmer outfit, freshened up, and headed to Gerry’s for the rest of the day. Two weeks ago we were supposed to go up to Portsmouth, NH, which for those not local, it’s a quaint little city about 45 minutes from us. Unfortunately it had been raining nonstop, so we had to put our plan on hold.

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We wanted to go so that we could go ice skating at the 1st annual ice skating rink at Strawbery Banke. We finally made it, and it was so much fun. I truly felt like I was in a Hallmark Christmas movie. There were couples and families skating around and having so much fun.
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You know how in those movies the girl always has this really cruddy guy, and then she meets a great guy and then they go ice skating at this quaint, sparkly ice skating rink? That’s what it felt like. When the girl gets her happy ending. I went flying twice. I am not coordinated.strawberry-banke-skating-portsmouth-nh

After skating, we walked around the city for a little bit, grabbed Starbucks, and then stopped at my house for a few. That does mean that he met my parents.
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We did not eat dinner until 9. I had no appetite and then all of a sudden it hit me and I immediately thought that I was going to throw up and faint from extreme hunger. So weird, right? I was going to be healthy, but I was so hungry that I didn’t even care so I ate the entire burger and half of the fries. Worth every bite.
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Woke up to this face a little after 9. Hit the gym for a 1.5 mile run, 10 minutes of painful abs, and a little bit of shoulder work.nessie-the-cat

I had totally planned on going Christmas shopping during Sunday afternoon, but my Dad asked Gerry to come over and watch football with him, so from 12:30-4 I was sandwiched between these 2 men watching football. The rest of my afternoon was spent failing at Christmas shopping and striking out at the few places I went (I only bought shaving cream and peanut butter –> so it wasn’t a complete fail).

Christmas movies with my Mom to end the night. 🙂

Christmas-movies

Have you gone ice skating yet?

Christmas in Pictures

Are you ready for a photo dump? There’s not much to say about Christmas other than how awesome it was to spend time with my family. I hope your day was as lovely and full of love as mine was.

Christmas with my brother on Sunday. Christmas on the 22nd = awkward.

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Kippy loved his super long squeaky pig.

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Christmas kitty.

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Finally got the pair of TOMS I’ve been drooling over for months, years.

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Another Paleo cookbook. I’m excited to cook Paleo meals for BCoops when we marry. 😉

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A few of my favorite cousins {Lindze & Lindsay}.

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My Uncle got stuck babysitting a doll. He’s letting her hold his beer… bad uncle!

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Cousin Jay rocking the blonde mullet he got in dirty yankee swap.DSC_0146My Uncle is redeeming himself as Grampa with my favorite baby nugget, Lucas. The argyle sweater and plaid shirt kills me.
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Christmas onsie. ohmygosh.

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Annual Christmas evening picture with my Godmother <3.

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How I feel about working the day after Christmas.

IMG_5535How was your Christmas? What was the favorite gift you received?

Annual Christmas Eve Eve & 12 Pains of CrossFit

Since I got home extremely late last night from my family Christmas party, and I am working today, I decided my Christmas recap would come tomorrow, and my recap of Monday and Tuesday would be today! 🙂

Christmas Eve Eve

Monday, Christmas Eve Eve, my girls and I continued our 10+ year tradition of doing dinner on Christmas Eve Eve. It was started in high school at Panera, where we would sit and laugh and eat for hours until 9ish.

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In college, it became a night for us to catch up in person before the holidays. Now that college has passed and some of us have serious boyfriends, each year one of us can’t make it, and this year we missed Lisha. 🙁 We decided to upgrade for the first time ever, and went to Shorty’s, a local Mexican restaurant for dinner instead.

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I ordered my favorite go-to Mexican dish, a taco bowl with shredded chicken. Definitely hit the spot but I looked and felt like I had an 8 month baby inside of me. Next time, I’ll just order healthier.IMG_5459

My girls, Jen and Jaime. I met Jen freshman year of high school during softball tryouts, and Jaime in freshman year science class. James and I stuck together because we were so shy and sat behind each other. These girls haven’t left my life since. 🙂IMG_5464 IMG_5467

After dinner, Jaime headed out for church with her Mom, but Jen and I decided to go to Target for a little Christmas shopping. She persuaded me to buy fun socks. I stocked up on 2 pairs of fun holiday colors. I more so bought them for CrossFit for box jumps.

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Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve I headed to CrossFit for the 12 pm class, where I was joined with my cousin, Jenn, who’s an assistant coach at a neighboring box. I was so excited for her to be here!

WOD: 12 Pains of Christmas…. to be done like the song. Which means you have to go through every single variation of this. On the 8th day/round, I developed a super painful side-cramp that definitely made the burpees, knees to chest, and push-ups extremely painful.

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We rifled through the first 6 rounds in less than 5 minutes, but as the rounds came, our bodies were definitely feeling the burn. At the 20 minute mark, Jenn said she didn’t even care for time and just wanted to finish.

Jenn kicked our butts and RX’d the WOD in 29:08, 20 seconds shy of the men’s RX.

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And there she is, just practicing her toes to bar while a few men still complete the WOD. She is an animal!!IMG_5473

After recovering on the ground, we all made it out of the box and into the lobby, where the boys enjoyed Christmas beers and surviving the 12 Pains of CrossFit.

IMG_5482After CrossFit, I headed home where I meal prepped for the week, ran last minute Christmas errands, and spent the evening with my parents. We went and looked at Christmas lights before settling on the couch by the fire watching Elf.

Such a fun few days!

Christmas Came Early & My Boys

Christmas came and went this weekend. Ryan came home Thursday night for an extra long Christmas weekend, which meant lots of time spent with my partner-in-crime.

Friday

Friday afternoon I took off from work early so I could bring Ryan to CrossFit. We went to  open gym, and I put him through a scaled-down girl workout, Barbara. It was a killer WOD, and we were both left breathless once we finished.

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After our WOD, we had a family dinner before starting our Christmas Eve. We drove around for almost an hour looking at Christmas lights around town before heading home and watching Christmas Vacation.

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Yes, it takes 2 men to put the angel on top of our 9 foot tree.IMG_5426

Saturday

After a 3.5 mile HIIT run at the gym, I got ready for Christmas with my Mom’s side of the family.IMG_5406 IMG_5425

Once we got home around 5, Ryan’s best buds and my cousin came over for the night. These boys have become big brothers to me, and I love them tremendously.IMG_5423

Around 8 I headed out for sushi with Mr. Utah, and then gave him a guided tour around town since he’s semi new to the area.

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We then headed to The Farm a little later, and my boys came and surprised me there. They walked in The Farm screaming, “IS THERE AN ALISON LEWIS IN THIS BAR?!” These boys are my heart and they had me cracking up all night. I think they were just a little overwhelming for my date, but if you can’t hang with my guys, welp, see ya later!

IMG_5429Sunday

After waking at 9, I hung around with the guys for a bit before heading out for a run. The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent with my family. We had our Christmas yesterday afternoon since Ryan leaves today to spend Christmas with his fiancé’s family.

Yesterday 3 of the big wins were the Nom Nom Paleo cookbook, an IsoBag so I can transport all of my meals, and a case of RxBars. Woo!

xmas giftsHave you started celebrating Christmas yet?

It’s going to be so weird having Christmas without Ry Christmas morning, but I still have half of my stocking and half of my gifts left that I get to open with my parents. Here’s to new traditions.

Christmas with my Mom’s Family

Yesterday afternoon my Mom’s side of the family put a wrap to the Christmas celebrations. We headed over to my Uncle’s around 2 and immediately jumped at the appetizers as we all had hungry appetites.

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My Aunt’s bruschetta was my absolute favorite! I’ve never been too interested in trying bruschetta, but one bite of hers and I was in a new kind of heaven.

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The middle bites were my favorite, as they were extra soft and sweet. Perfect! After appetizers, everyone that was 21+ went to begin our Yankee Swap while my high school cousins opened their gifts. Unfortunately they’re at the age where they only want gift cards so it’s no fun to watch them open.

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I picked #3 out of 9 and I was pretty worried but luckily I went home with what I picked and what I wanted the most. A mini brownie maker with the BEST brownie mix! Okay, so this doesn’t really correlate with my desire to eat clean, buttttt this is awesome.

After the gifts and Yankee Swap were complete, I hung out on the couch with my cousins before we sat down for dinner.

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My Aunt prepared every dish, and yes, I took a little of everything, but my favorite was actually the mac ‘n cheese. I’m a mac ‘n cheese snob in the sense that I only like Kraft shells or characters, but her homemade mac ‘n cheese was out of this world.

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It was extra cheesy, just the way I like it! My other favorite was her chicken wrapped in tomato and cheese stuffing. Holy crap. And that crusted ball you see, that’s actually a potato covered in planko. I wasn’t a fan of the potato but I did eat the shell!

If you want to see big dogs, just take a look at one of my Uncle’s Newfoundland dogs weighing in at 125 pounds.

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Izzy is such a fluff ball and all I wanted to do was cuddle her all day and night. Such a cute baby!

I didn’t snap a picture of the desserts, but I did enjoy a handful or two of my Mom’s addicting mix before we hit the road to brave the snow storm we were stuck in. When we arrived home, my parents, Ryan and I cuddled in our family room and enjoyed Ryan’s last night by watching Trouble with the Curve. I didn’t pay attention the entire time as I was busy with a little work, but from what I saw I enjoyed the movie!

Sunday

Today has been a pretty busy and tiring day. I woke up around 9 (not enough sleep), and ran a decent 4 miles before saying goodbye to Ryan and attacking my list of errands. I failed pretty much with everything I wanted to accomplish (finding a new foam roller and a going out top), but I did score some pretty sweet deals at Yankee Candle and GNC.

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After my errands I enjoyed a bowl of Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal before I hit the gym for a strength workout and to relax and unwind in the sauna. On my way home from the gym I shoveled a good 60% of my neighbor’s driveway, and was supposed to be at Allie’s house for the evening to watch the football game, but I’m completely wiped out from the shoveling.

I’m just about to crawl into my bed and watch a chick flick on my new Blu-Ray dvd player I got for Christmas.

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It has some really kick ass features that I wasn’t expecting. Actually, on my Christmas list I asked for “a basic DVD player that plays DVDs” and received a Blu-Ray DVD player from my Dad. He seriously spoils me. 🙂

I’m really craving a little Gerard Butler in my life so I have a night of drooling ahead of me. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Date Night & Chobani Addiction

If my body was hurting yesterday, then this morning is death for my body. Along with being tired, my body is seriously feeling Heather’s almost-puke workout from Thursday.

Yesterday I was able to enjoy another half relaxing day. After leaving work at 1 for a half day, I went to the gym for a light cardio workout which included 25 minutes on the elliptical and a 1-mile speed walk, and then the best part, 25 minutes in the sauna. Talk about relaxing.

My night got even better as Mark the Prospect and I celebrated him being a smarty pants and passing the CBIM test, aka the Certified Business Intelligence Professional test. We had planned on going on out to eat, but we were so tired and comfy on the couch watching a movie that we just decided to stay in. I didn’t mind at all. It was cold and windy outside, and I really didn’t want to go out to eat again.

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The Prospect requested a picture of us and I was happy to oblige, even if it did turn out dark and blurry. Damn that earring earned the center of attention in the picture!

I got home around 11:30 and was out cold, before waking this morning around 9 am. I could have stayed in bed a lot longer but I have several things I want to get done before we head to my Mom’s brother’s house for Christmas with her family.

I do plan on getting some type of workout in this morning, but I’ll have to see what my body tells me it’s okay with. I just finished up my newest addiction, thanks to Lisha. Vanilla greek yogurt mixed with peanut butter, holy heavens is this baby good.

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I one uped her and went for Chobani Vanilla Chocolate Chunk.

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Mixed with Teddie’s Peanut Butter and this baby is a slam dunk and perfect for pre-workout fuel.

Alright, time to go tackle my to-do list before heading to my Uncle’s. Luckily the desserts there rarely tempt me. I’m tackling this holiday party with a clean-eating mind!

And before I sign out, a seriously special shout-out to my girls that left comments on yesterday’s post and encourage me to not give up and beat myself up for my holiday weight gain. You girls and all of my readers mean the world to me. So thankful for you guys every single day! xo