I love New Years Eve and the promise of a new year and a fresh start. I love looking back on the days of the previous year and picturing the days to come. I also love reminiscing over the past year, looking back at photos, and sharing memories!
2015 was good to me…a look back in Insta photos!
I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings!
I call them ‘resolutions’ but don’t really like that phrase…I like calling them goals. I make a few goals at the start of the new year because it’s easier to measure success when you set goals. They range all over the place from fitness to personal goals to blogging, but I just like to take a few minutes before ringing in the new year to pick a few goals to focus on.
Goals for 2016
Cooking the food I have stored up in the fridge/pantry. Also following my new TIU nutrition plan!
Walking the pup more often and for longer
Stick with running and avoid post marathon burn out!
Stay consistent with weekly blog posts
Learn more about photography-I really want to take a class!
That’s the short list. I am always adding to and changing my goals as the days go on, so we’ll see where we are at this time next year!
We will be ringing in the New Year with an Out with the Old and In with the New party! Keeping it super casual and will be hanging at the house with family and friends enjoying lots of leftovers and foods to clean out the pantry and fridge! ? How will you be celebrating New Year’s Eve?
I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! I’m slowly returning from a cookie coma and getting back to things on this Monday morning. I’m feeling all motivated to get back on track. Lots of photos and a long recap ahead!!
It was a busy holiday week filled with family, friends, and lots of good food! I started prepping for our holiday festivities on Tuesday last week with my first round of grocery shopping. We hosted Christmas Eve cocktails and appetizers and Christmas Day dinner, so I had a lot to get done. After shopping on Tuesday, I met some friends for an Ugly Sweater Fun Run. It was way too hot to be wearing that sweater, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to wear it! It’s probably the only time a year I get to wear it in Florida…especially since this December is unseasonably warm.
Wednesday, I needed to finish up all my grocery shopping for the festivities, so I woke up super early to get it all done. First stop was the gym. Reminder to myself: the gym was completely empty at 7:30am, so try to go that early next time! I went through a 2 mile interval workout on the treadmill, then a quick leg circuit that definitely had me feeling sore! After the gym I hit the road with an apple and a Complete Cookie-my new obsession. I was hesitant to try one but once I had a bite of the chocolate chip, I was sold! I’ve refueled with the cookie and an apple and made my way to finish shopping.
My goal was to be done with everything early to beat the crowds and I was successful! I went to Walmart and Publix and finished everything by 12pm. I got home, unloaded the groceries, and got to work prepping as much in advance as possible.
Christmas Eve I was up and out early to meet a local MRTT group for their annual Christmas Eve run. I was meeting a friend a little early to fit in an extra few miles. It can be difficult fitting in workouts and running during a busy holiday week, but I tried my best to remain active and get in a few runs. The trick is to plan ahead and schedule workouts with friends and family! I got in 4 miles Christmas Eve morning and started the holiday weekend off on the right foot!
Christmas Eve was at our house-our first Christmas at the new place! We had festive Jack Frost cocktails and appetizers.
I wore my new sequin pants for the occasion, but let me say they are not comfortable at all! The sequins kept snagging on everything, but they were festive so I suffered through! ?T
hough it was record highs for the Christmas and Christmas Eve, we lit a fire in our new backyard fire pit and sat around it for awhile. Thankfully it wasn’t too hot. We had the best time and called it a semi early night so we could be up early for Santa!
Christmas morning came quickly and we all enjoyed opening presents, drinking coffee, and snacking on Christmas cookies!
After all the present opening, we starting cooking to get ready for Christmas dinner! We made a maple ginger roasted pork, red wine butter roasted mushrooms, mac n cheese, green beans, roasted potatoes, lemon thyme bread….and desserts! We were all stuffed after dinner, so we sent everyone home with lots of treats and leftovers! It was a wonderful Christmas and I think one of my favorite ever!
Sunday morning I started off the day with a 5 mile marathon training run with my marathon running buddy. Less than TWO WEEKS until the marathon! We are getting excited and nervous and ready for the big day! We’ve started planning our outfits, nutrition, and where our people will be along the course. It’s coming so quickly and I’m feeling so nervous as I write!!
Now that the holidays are over, I’m ready to start the New Year on the right foot, take down the decorations, and get ready for the marathon. During our run yesterday, we were chatting about getting back on track and we decided to join the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan. We’ve both followed TIU for years and decided it would be fun to jumpstart the year and our health with the plan. I am so excited and motivated for a healthy and happy 2016..I’ve had so much fun just reading through the plan.
I think that just about sums it up for week 23 and Christmas. Follow along with me for the next two weeks as it’s crunch time!!! Happy Monday everyone!
Can you believe it’s Christmas week?! I’ve had plenty of help with my little elf over here. And by help, I mean stealing bows and eating tissue paper, but what can you do?
In less than 3 weeks, I will be running a MARATHON!
Taper has been great. I love not waking up at 4am on Saturdays to run 10+ miles. It’s been so fun running casual 5ks and fun runs and going through light gym workouts. I’m a little nervous my mileage should still be more, but I’ve been active and killing my weekly workouts, so I still feel good.
Over the weekend, Central Florida was blessed with a quick little cold front that we all welcomed! I have too many wintery outfits to wear and didn’t have enough time to wear them all! ? Hoping for another cold front soon, especially during marathon weekend!!
During one of my runs last week at my favorite 3 mile route, I passed this PSA about eating organic…it’s an ad for a new organic farm nearby where you can pick your own organic produce. I need to check it out after the holidays!
I found out earlier last week that I was selected to be a Nuun Ambassador!! I am so excited for this opportunity to represent nuun and be apart of a community I truly believe in! Have you ever tried nuun? It’s a great sports hydration product with no added sugars and lots of electrolytes, plus a fizzy carbonation that really satisfies! I can’t wait for a great year with the community!
Last week was also the conclusion of my first class of nutrition school! One month down, ummm about 16ish to go?! I was nervous about my grade because this professor was ruthless, BUT I got a B! Starting school off on the right foot!
This upcoming week will be tough juggling workouts and runs and Christmas! I’m off to do some last minute shopping with my Mom, I have an Ugly Sweater 5k tomorrow night, then prepping and planning for hosting Christmas in our new house. Happy Monday everyone! Hope it was a productive one!
Hostess gifts are always a tough one. What do you give to the host of your neighborhood holiday party or ugly sweater brunch? It should be practical, but festive and something that shows gratitude for the hospitality! But what says all of that?!
I’m a new neighbor in my ‘hood, and I’m going to my first holiday party where I’ll be meeting new neighbors and connecting with the ones I already know. I want to make a good impression! My go to hostess gift is a little gift box filled with holiday treats your host will love.
?Bottle of Vino
Who doesn’t love sweets around the holidays? I like to package them up in Christmasy takeout boxes. Recipe for the easiest cookie bars below!
?Festive Dish Towels
Adorable dish towels are an inexpensive little something to add to a basket for a hostess gift. I also like to wrap a bottle of wine with the towel and tie it with a sparkly bow.
My holiday host for this evening’s festivities is a fur mom so a little takeout container of treats for her pup will be an extra special way to spread holiday cheer
Add a mini container of truffles. Yum!
I’m obsessed. I’d love a candle as a gift, so I love to gift them as well
Holiday or not, your host will love something they can use in their house. Wine stopper, drinking glasses, cutting board, etc. are perfect ideas
A special ornament attached to a bottle of wine or the front of the package is a cute idea
Macy must have sniffed out the dog treats!
This is a little something I put together for my neighbor. I arranged everything into the adorable Santa bucket, which my neighbor can use again and filled it wine, towels, dog treats, and the easiest cookie bars ever!
1 package sugar cookie dough (or your favorite homemade version!)
1/4 cup raspberry jam (or whatever you have on hand)
2 tablespoons nuts of choice (I used slivered almonds)
1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
In a 9×13 glass baking dish, press the cookie dough to cover the bottom in an even layer. Bake dough according to the package directions.
Once the cookie bars are cooled, spread the raspberry jam over the top in an even layer. Sprinkle with nuts. Melt the chocolate. I melted mine the easy way in the microwave for 30 second intervals. Once melted, drizzle chocolate over the cookie bars. Put in the fridge to set the chocolate. Once it’s set, cut into squares and serve!
You can really use any combination of nuts, jams, and chocolates. Use whatever you have on hand! These are my go to cookie recipe for something festive but you can whip up last minute.
Four weeks from today I will be running my first marathon! How is it already here?! I am so so excited and nervous and just can’t wait to cross the finish line.
Taper has been hard for me…my motivation has fizzled out a bit and I’ve been eating poorly. This week though is off to a great start! With all the Christmas spirit and snacks, my diet has been all over the place. Now, I’m down to the wire, I’ll be back on track, starting with today’s 10 mile run.
Aside from staying on track for the remaining 4 weeks of marathon training, I’ve starting putting together goals and resolutions for 2016. This time of year always brings reflection on the past year and somehow my next year’s resolutions get formed before the year is even over. Here’s a couple goals that’ll go on my 2016 resolution list, but I’ll also try to follow through with them ’til the end of 2015.
Take Macy on more walks
We have a big back yard for her to run in, so it’s really easy to open the door and let her out. I want to take her on more walks and spend more time running with her. She has so much energy and needs to get it all out! I also need to get closer to my step goal of 10,000 steps/day, so it’s a win win!
Make meals with what I have on hand
This is kind of a weird one, but I love stocking up on groceries. Especially at stores that I don’t get to go to often like Trader Joes and Aldi. They have so much good stuff, especially for clean eating, so stocking up is essential. Until you’re in my boat and have so much food that you could feed a small army. My goal for the rest of the year (and into 2016!) is to cook the food I have and use up all the things I’ve been saving. I’m going to try not to grocery shop for food, except for fresh fruits and some veggies, dairy products, coffee, etc. Wish me luck! I may have to get creative and plan to share meals and ideas here to keep me accountable!
That’s all for now! Have you started thinking ahead and made resolutions for the new year? How about the rest of 2015?
I can’t resist the holiday treats this time of year. I’m pretty sure I could eat like Buddy and live off the 3 food groups of the elves: candy canes, candy corn, and syrup. It’s hard to balance a healthy lifestyle this time of year, especially with my marathon just after the new year. The key word is balance. I’m a firm believer of everything in moderation, so when it comes to seasonal snacks, I have a healthy dose of naughty and nice. When I see these treats on the end caps of Target or my grocery store, I literally cannot resist. Here’s a quick pick of my favorite seasonal treats!
The Naughty List
Limited Edition Holiday Oreos
Doesn’t matter if they’re chocolate with festive red peppermint cream filling, or the vanilla cookies with gingerbread, I’ll put one of the adorable little packages in my cart. Currently there’s both in my giant snowman cookie jar. I stash ’em there ‘cuz out of sight out of mind ya know?
This isn’t necessarily a ‘naughty’ item, but I try to have a creamer with less preservatives and additives yearround, however I make an exception for my cups of coffee that are consumed after Thanksgiving. Sparkling sugar cookie, peppermint mocha, eggnog, gingerbread…bring on the holiday cheer in my cup.
If I hear there’s a seasonal M&M you better believe I’m going to buy a bag for the candy bowl on my kitchen bar top. Then me, my friends, and family will eat them all and complain about it. It’s only tradition. To stop myself, I’ll throw them in with a few almonds and dried fruit and call it trail mix!
The Nice List
BoomChickaPop Holidrizzle Popcorn
On a recent trip to Target where I bought #alltheholidaythings, I found the seasonal section of holiday foods where three different flavors of BoomChickaPop Holidrizzle pop was stored. THREE DIFFERENT FLAVORS!!! So naturally I got one of each: Hot chocolate with marshmallows, white chocolate peppermint, and dark chocolate salted caramel. My fave is the peppermint drizzle, but they are all a delicious treat that won’t ruin my diet. I’m also going to pretend that they don’t have frosted sugar cookie as a flavor on their website and I did not see that one at Target.
Seasonally flavored coffee is why I get up in the morning. There’s nothing better than knowing that my Keurig is 60 seconds away from giving me a delicious cup of coffee to start my day. Add a festive flavor and I’m the happiest girl in the world. Top faves include Donut Shoppe Peppermint Bark & Green Mountain Golden French Toast, but I can only find that flavor in their holiday variety pack. Good thing there’s all those health benefits of coffee….
Hot chocolate just shouts drink me at this time of year and I gladly will. Every flavor imaginable somehow makes it into my cart…hot chocolate caramel, salted hot choc, white hot choc, peppermint hot chocolate, the possibilities are endless. Don’t even get me started on marshmallows and whipped cream… Did you know Target sells a peppermint version?
These small indulgences are part of how I stay on track during this time of year. I take some popcorn with me when I’m on the go for a snack and almost always have a nightly hot chocolate or eggnog. It’s all about balance, so by having these occasional treats, it helps me to not overdo it on the other stuff!
What’s your favorite holiday healthy treat or splurge?
You may have noticed (if you’ve been on social media lately) that tonight is the airing of the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. You may have also noticed someone you know griping about the Angels looks, unrealistic bodies, or how they can’t eat while they watch it. Or that they won’t be tuning in at all.
I may never have abs like Gigi, but I will be watching the show tonight. For the record, I’m totally okay not having abs like hers.
I love Victoria’s Secret. The bras, undies, & workout gear especially. Don’t get me started on the PINK muscle tanks… or 7/$27 panties. I LIVE for that sale.
Their stuff makes me feel good. And if I feel good, I look good.
Instead of thinking VS is out to make us hate our bodies, they should make us feel like we love them. Instead we should feel empowered. Empowered to buy that hot bra we don’t think we can ‘pull off’. Empowered to run in your foxy leggings and only a sports bra. Empowered to be okay that we love ourselves. That’s how VS makes me feel. Their whole campaign is to make women look and feel sexy…and it SHOULD make us look and feel sexy. Not insecure, unsure, or making us regret the extra slice of pizza. BTW, it’s taco night over here, so I’ll be eating chips and queso without a care in the world. ? But on a serious note, let’s love our bodies and be inspired by the fashion show. Comparison is the thief of joy. Don’t forget that. ❤️
Besides, who doesn’t want to love their bodies and envision them in a sexy bejeweled bra that cost $2 mil? I sure as hell do, and I’d totally rock it. ?
Woohoo! Four short weeks stand between me and my first full marathon. Taper is in full swing, the holidays are quickly approaching, and 2016 will be here before we know it!
Week 20 was kind of a fail. After my super successful 20 miler, my body was telling me I needed to rest and recover. I had little motivation to run this week and my calves were sore almost all week long. Every time my alarm went off, I hit snooze like 6 times, which is totally unlike me. I’m usually up before the sun to workout, clean, or enjoy coffee and a quiet morning. Anyways, listening to my body was probably the best thing I could’ve done this week and I am ready to dive into week 21 with lots of running and workouts!
I also need to clean up my diet this week. The holiday season is hard. Also, the taper struggle is real.
Taper is the trail end of training for an endurance event, where you decrease mileage, but remain active. I’ve heard so many stories about people who fizzle out during taper or go crazy because they don’t know what to do with their spare time. And I always thought it was a running myth. I do find myself enjoying not having to be up at 4:30am on a Saturday morning for a 15 mile run, but didn’t find myself waking up early this past Saturday to get 10 in. At least I think I got the taper lull out of my system because I’m rearing to go this week! Maybe it’s the 2 dozen Christmas cookies or 6 doughnuts I consumed at my friend’s Hanukkah celebration that’s giving me the kick. Either way, can’t wait to run this week.
Have you had the taper lull before? How do you fight it?
Do you have a Santa run coming up or holiday party at your gym? Just want to spread the Christmas cheer for every mile you run this month? I’m in full blown Christmas mode and I want to share the love of the holidays with everyone…including people I pass while running.
But really, it’s just an excuse to buy more holiday stuff. I don’t think I really need any excuses but I can’t be stopped.
This December I have a few events coming up where I need to be sporting as much Christmas as I can. From my running group’s Ugly Sweater Party to the local Santa 5k I want to register for, this little list of festive gear will make your season bright all December long. ✨
A cute festive tank is always my go to for holiday 5ks or run meet-ups with friends. Since it’s December 2nd and it’s 75 degrees, I only have the need for sleeves, but this pattern is available with sleeves or in sweatshirt form.
For just a sweet little touch, a peppermint swirled headband is the way to go! I’ve talked about Sweaty Bands before and these babies are the best! Throw on last minute with whatever you have and you’re instantly festive for any occasion.
This tinsel beauty is a hat! Why not put a Christmas tree on your head and run a Santa race? ‘Tis the season.
For your ugly sweater run (or party!) these socks go perfectly with your sweater. Actually not ‘perfectly’ but that’s the point right!?
Your elfies are bound to get tons of likes with this cute little number! If the bra isn’t what you need, there’s Ts with awesome phrases like the Son of a Nutcracker I’m wearing as I type….
This little gem is a present to the ugly sweater world and will look fabulous with your winter ensemble. I think it really completes the look….
Running tights in a fair isle print just scream winter fun and I want to wear them all. the. time. I have last year’s version and they are just so presh and look great in front of the tree while you sip you ‘nog. Or out there running….
Do you have any races of events planned to celebrate the holidays the healthy way?
Week 19 was just a normal week of training, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Black Friday, a 20 miler, Disney, and lots of family+friend quality time. See how I just casually added that I ran 20 miles over the weekend?? It happened. I completed my furthest run ever of 20 miles!! And that was all at once.
I am officially in taper for the WDW Marathon Weekend in January 2016! ? How is that here already?? I feel like I was just starting out at week 1 and being all depressed that I had zilch motivation, which didn’t really ease up until the end of summer… I blame that on the humidity.
Here’s what I realized during my 20 mile run: Twenty miles is really really far. And I still have like 6 more miles to go. Crap.
After a two day turkey+pie hangover, I hit the streets at 5am with my girl Lindsay to set out on 20 miles. I was heavily armed with new GU flavors, my fave running socks, and all my essentials from my checklist. I was extremely nervous about completing this run. Would I get through it? How hard would it be? How hot is it going to get? When will I hit the wall? Running is so unpredictable and it’s hard to prepare for something with so many variables and that’s what probably makes it so nerve-wracking. But a few hours later, we got that shit done and I had answers to all running’s questions.
Would I get through it? Yep. Sure did. ✔️ With minimal chafing and a smile on my face. BTW, minimal chafing is a MIRACLE in and of itself.
How hard would it be? Mmmmm, pretty hard, but I’ve done harder. ?
How hot is it going to get? Well, it’s November, so you wouldn’t think that hot, but then again it’s Florida, so it was hot. We were lucky that there was a gorgeous breeze.
When will I hit the wall? I felt surprisingly well the entire time and didn’t hit a very high wall, which again makes me nervous for January and when I’ll hit it then…..
Once my watch clicked to 20.00 miles, I felt so accomplished and I cannot wait to experience the feeling of crossing that finish line of 26.2 miles in January!
Now onto a little Thanksgiving recap!
Started off the morning with a Turkey Trot…always a fun way to kick off a day of eating so much food. Stuffing is by far my fave food of Thanksgiving, with the exception of mac n cheese. But stuffing unfortunately is only served at the holidays (and I eat mac n cheese on the reg), so I really had to capitalize on the stuffing action.
Then I moved on to apple pie.
I was too excited to be eating that I didn’t take any photos, except of my little cheese plate. I could live off bread and cheese and be totally fine.
Thanksgiving to Black Friday eve, my Mom and I headed out for our tradition of Black Friday shopping! In past years I’ve been a bit more successful in terms of almost finishing my shopping, but I’m off to a good start this year!
We headed home around midnight for pie and bed, then woke up to meet Brian and mother in law for round 2 of shopping.
Black Friday evening, it’s been a tradition to visit the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios and sadly this time was the last time! This amazing display of lights at Disney is going on hiatus while they work on adding Star Wars land to HWS. I say hiatus, because I don’t actually know if it’ll be coming back in the future, but I still believe. Warning: Osborne light photo overload coming! ✨
✨Our Christmas card this year ?
The lights were just as amazing and impressive as ever and I couldn’t help but get a little emotional, since this has been a family tradition for years.
After recovering Saturday from my 20 miler, we decked the halls around the Gill household and finished up Sunday evening. Holiday mode is in full swing around here!!
I hope you all had a glorious long weekend filled with lots of quality time with loved ones + good food + and family traditions.
What are some of your old and new holiday traditions you can’t wait for this season? ?