)Happy Holidays!

Why yes, that is a Lamb Chop puppet, and numerous Grinch items. 25 going on 5?

Ok, so I’m a few days late on the “Merry Christmas” post, so let me apologize now. It’s been a hectic week, as I’m sure it has been for many others also. This post is also long, oops!

Although busy, it was a fantastic Christmas ūüôā Dave and I invited both of our families up for brunch on Christmas Eve. I was up early that day, prepped the food and then went to the gym for Spin. When I got back Dave and I exchanged one present each. Dave is a¬†huge Miami Dolphins fan, so I got him a Dolphins snack holder helmet. He got me the Dolphins henley sweatshirt I had on my wishlish. We were both so happy with our gifts. Once both of our sets of parents arrived we had Overnight French Toast with maple bacon, and some fruit. Yum!

That afternoon was the Dolphins/Patriots game so the guys watched it while I made some food for my families Christmas Dinner later that day. We did take a break to go for a walk in the park, since it had snowed the day before and looked sooo festive.

all decked out in Dolphins gear

That evening Dave and I went to my parents for the night. We had an amazing turkey dinner (thanks Mom!) and then played Whovilleopoly (that would be Grinch monopoly) all night. I came in last (booo) but it was still fun. Then we all nomiated who should get the coal in their stocking, and went to bed.

We woke up Christmas morning and opened stockings/presents with my parents and sister. I have been driving everyone nuts about a Keurig, and Santa was very good to me and surprised me with one! I also received lots of stuff for the house, and numerous cute sheep things (my favourite animal). My family all enjoyed the presents I got for them too, success!!

my beverage centre... and my sheep tea cozy

Dave and I came back to our house for “our” Christmas. He surprised me with the most heartfelt/cute/funny movie. I loved it ūüôā After that we were on the road to drive in to see his family. We opened presents with them in the afternoon, enjoyed a roast beef dinner, and then showed them the movie Dave made. Both of our parents had a part in creating the movie, so everyone was super anxious to watch it. It was such a hit, there were happy tears all around!

my new bread maker.. thanks to Daves parents ūüôā

I was happy that we split our time with our families so well. We did a good job balancing out the time with each, so I think it was a win-win for everyone. I was also happy that I kept up all the traditions from previous years, and maybe started a couple more. To me, the traditions are the best part of the Holidays, because they are all based around people I love. (Sorry for being so sappy)

I did a decent job not going overboard on the delicous holiday foods. Could I have done better? Sure. But the Holidays are only once a year so it isn’t a big deal. On Dec. 28th I was back at the gym working hard so I’m proud I didn’t use the Holidays as an excuse to take this week off.

So tell me, how was your Christmas? What was the best present you gave/received? What was the best Christmas tradition you had?

 

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One week til Christmas

This past week has been a bit relaxed on the fitness front. I was working at a different time than I normally do, so getting up at 6:20am was making the days pretty long. I only made it to the gym two nights during the week, and I did an outdoor run with the BF yesterday along with some biking at the gym. I haven’t had too much energy, and because of this I know I didn’t give my 100% effort. But, tomorrow is¬†a new week and I have a great week planned workout-wise ūüôā

I saw this survey over at My Food ‘N’ Fitness Diaries¬†and since its just seven days until Christmas (and I’m a HUGE Christmas fan)¬†I couldn’t help but fill it out too. Enjoy!

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate?? I‚Äôm usually a hot chocolate person the rest of the year, but for the month of December it’s egg nog all the way! I buy the light version and mix half of my glass with skim milk to cut down on the sugar and calories.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Always wrapped! Preferably in wrapping paper, not gift bags.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? We have white lights both on our tree and on the outside of the house. Sometimes coloured lights look nice outside but they have to be done “just right”.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Yes we do, so cute!

5. When do you hang your decorations up? On Nov. 12th I will put up most of our indoor decorartions. Then on Dec. 1st we put up the tree and turn on our outside lights.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Hmm, either mom’s Teriyaki Meatballs that we have on Christmas Eve or Sweet Potato Casserole. I can’t decide!

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Going to my grandparents on Christmas Eve and going sledding. They lived on top of this huge hill, and we made a cool sled run with banked turns that started off of their deck. It was so much fun!

8. What is on your Christmas Wishlist?  A Miami Dolphins Henley sweatshirt, Lululemon Groove Pants or Wunder Unders, and Aveda Energizing Body Cleanser,

9. Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve? My sister and I always open a present from our Aunt Diane. Everything else is saved for Christmas morning.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? We have white lights and then a collection of ornaments. My ornaments are all Grinch or sheep, and Daves are Miami Dolphins/football. Then we have a some other ornaments and some coloured shiny bobbles.

11. Snow? Love it or dread it? I’m a huge snow fan, especially for the Holidays. As soon as fall is done I want snow so that I can go snowboarding, and I like it for Christmas since its makes everything so much more pretty!

12. Real tree or fake tree?  Real, no ifs, ands, or buts! I love the smell of it, and they look so much nicer.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? It would have to be a¬†stuffed sheep I got when I was 9. In more recent years it would be my Kitchenaid mixer ūüôā

14. What’s the most important thing about Christmas for you? All of the traditions I have with my family, and the new ones that Dave and I have started together. Each tradition is special for a certain reason, and I will continue them all for as long as possible.

15. What is your favorite Holiday dessert? Shortbread cookies, and gingerbread cookies. So yummy!

16. What is your favorite tradition? Do I really have to pick just one?! My favourite would be the “Christmas Coal”. On Christmas Eve, my family and I each write in a notebook (that’s 20+ years old) who we nomiate to receive the coal this year. Then on Christmas morning we check it to see who got the coal in their stocking. It’s a playful thing, and it’s a good laugh.

17. What tops your tree? A Grinch haha.

18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving? Nowadays its giving, because it’s so fun to go out and pick out gifts for each person. But receiving is great too, especially when people don’t use my wishlist and think up creative gifts.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Christmas Time by Bryan Adams.

20. Candy canes, yuck or yum? Yum, although I don’t go out of my way to have one.

21. Favorite Christmas Movie? The Grinch (Jim Carey version) obviously!

22. What do you leave for Santa? Cookies and milk, and a carrot for Rudolph.

23. Do you have a Christmas morning tradition? We open our stocking when we get up. Then we have a Christmas morning brunch while we open up our gifts.

24. Do you prefer to shop on-line or at the mall? I prefer the mall, since shipping charges are ridiculous in Canada. I really like seeing the mall decorated, and all hustle and bustle gets me in the Christmas spirit!

25. Christmas letter or Christmas card? I like receiving the cards, but this seems like a dying trend?

 

I’d love to hear some of your answers in the comments!

Whole-wheat Yogurt Chocolate Chip Muffins

Tonight I continued¬†my quest to health-ify yet another recipe. By substituting plain greek yogurt for oil, and whole-wheat flour for white flour, I have made these better for you than before! They still have 1/2c margerine and 1/2c of sugar, but as far as muffins go they’re not too bad.¬†A muffin you’d buy from a coffee shop can be upwards of 400-500calories, so at least these are smaller normal sized portions, and you’re getting some protein from the greek yogurt. A win-win, yes?

with Christmas muffin papers... yes I am festive

To make these delicious snacks you will need:

  • 1/2c square margerine (softened)
  • 1/2c sugar
  • 2/3c plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2c whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 2 1/4tsp baking powder
  • 1/3c chocolate chips

Mix together the butter, sugar, yogurt, and egg. Beat in the rest of the ingredients until “just mixed”. Spoon into muffin tins, bake at 350 for 18-20min. Remove from tins and cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy!!!

Christmas Fitness Wishlist

Say that title 10 times fast! I’m a little bit old for writing a letter to Santa, but I can still think up some cool fitness-related things for the new year, right?

1. Aveda Energizing Body Wash – so that I can go back to smelling nice after a hard workoutsource

2. Bosu Pro Balance Trainer – for some awesome home workouts

source

3. Lululemon Wunder Under Crops – the ultimate workout and casual crops

source

4. Polar FT40 Heart Rate monitor – I’ve tried to measure my heart rate while working out and it seems tough to count. This tells me when I’m in my fat burning zone and has an alarm if I go out of it. And it’s in white, love it!

source

5. A Treadmill – I don’t have an actual one picked out. I’m guessing the beginning of February there will be some to choose from on kijiji from the fitness newbies who’ve had enough. Their loss will be my gain (and then my loss in weight, haha)

source

 

Tonight’s supper was grilled chicken thigh burgers, topped with some guacamole and montery jack cheese on whole wheat thin buns. I steamed some broccoli for a side, and it was all delicious!

 

This is Rudolph. He endorses my Christmas¬†Fitness Wishlist¬†ūüôā

Tell me, what’s on your¬†fitness wishlist?¬†

 

Kicking it up a notch

I am just 17 days away from my goal deadline. Eek! Time to really step up my efforts. I got lots of really healthy food today for groceries, and am making some changes to my eating habits. I was always a “2 milk, 1 sugar” girl for my tea and coffee, now I’m swapping out milk and sugar for unsweetened almond milk. I tried to for the first time today, and I have to say I really don’t mind it. I also won’t be putting any brown sugar on my morning porridge. Very small changes, but ones that I won’t mind once I get used to them!

This past week I have been researching the Zone diet, and I find it pretty interesting. I really dislike the idea of a “diet”, but I think that using some of the Zone principles could be helpful. I’m trying to balance my snacks and meals this week so that¬†I have a combo of colour carbohydrates, low-fat protein, and healthy fats.

I have one Spin class, two runs, and two bootcamps for my workouts between now and Sunday. Can’t wait!!

I am all wrapped, and only have one gift left to buy! Woo! Tomorrow has a big day of hanging out and having a Christmas movie marathon (after spin and bootcamp of course ;))

Tell me, have you checked out the Zone? Thoughts? 

Are you ready for Christmas?

Christmas Kick-off

Happy first week of December! I hope everyone is getting into the festive mood, I know I sure am.

Yesterday the Bf and I had our Christmas Kick-off. We went to pick out our tree in the early afternoon, and brought it home to decorate. We also put the candles in the windows and turned on our outdoor christmas lights for the first time this year. I love how outdoor lights brighten up the house! Then we made Monster Cookies and watched The Grinch (the Jim Carrey version). It’s my favourite Christmas movie by far!

Monster Cookies

Monster Cookies

  • 1/2 cup square margerine
  • 1 1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1¬†tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 1/2 cups oats
  • 1 cup add-ins (I used¬†Smarties)

Preheat oven to 350degrees. Cream together butter, peanut butter, both sugars, eggs, and vanilla. Mix in baking soda, oats, and your add-ins. Drop by ice-cream scoopful onto a parchment paper covered cookie sheet, and press down each lump of dough slightly. Bake 8-10min, and when they start to brown slightly take them out of the oven. Let cool on cookie sheet a few minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.

I try to tell myself that these are more healthy than most other cookies because of the peanut butter and oats ūüėČ

our lovely tree... couldn't get a more clear pic unfortunately

I also taught another spin class yesterday, so I thought I would share my playlist and work-out with you. This is a very rock centered playlist as I was teaching a group of guys,¬†and I thought my¬†usual music was too “pop-y”. It was a sweat filled class, that’s for sure!

35min Spin Work-Out

Foo Fighters – Everlong : warm up

Aerosmith РCome Toegether : The 2 Minute Challenge : 30sec seated @ 70%, 15sec rest, 60sec seated @ 70%, 15sec rest, 90sec standing @ 70%, 15sec rest, 2min standing @ 70%

Incubus – Wish You Were Here & The White Stripes –¬†Seven Nation Army¬†: 30sec @¬†each position: seated hand position 1, seated hand position 3, hover, standing jog, hover, seated hand position 3, seated hand position 1

Jet – Are You Gonna Be My Girl : Tempo Work, 50% gear

Kings of Leon РCrawl, Linkin Park РIn the End, & Black Eyed Peas РImma Be : 9 Minute Climb : Start at 50% then increase tension every 30sec til the 3 minute mark, standing climb next 3min increasing tension every minute, last 3 minute is a climb at max tension for each person (standing or seated).

Kenny Chesney – Don’t Blink : cool down and stretch

On a side note, it’s just 22 more days until the bf and I weigh in for our goals. (My goal is to be 145lb). I have been working out pretty hard and consistently, but the scale hasn’t moved much. So, I’m really gonna ramp up the amount and intensity of my cardio for the next few weeks. I made another goal to do 10 runs between now and Christmas Eve.¬†I know that if I do this and eat well that I will acheive my goal on the 24th ūüôā

Tell me, what goals do you have for the month? Or do you make monthly goals?