Tag Archives: Christmas

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!

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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

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Christmas Day

Since I’ve been extremely busy the past week with the holidays in full force, I didn’t want to rush my Christmas post, so yes, it’s just a few days fashionably late.

Christmas morning Ry, Chels & I decided on waking up at 9 to start opening our stockings in my room.

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When I woke up, I looked outside and had a white Christmas before my eyes! Even though it was a dusting, it was better than nothing. Since I woke up at 8, I decided to head to the basement to squeeze in a quick 2 mile run so that I could get in the entire workout I wanted to in the afternoon.

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After my 2 miler, I showered and waited several minutes before Ryan and Chels came into my room to kick-off Christmas morning.

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After opening our stockings while A Christmas Story played in the background, we headed downstairs to the main event.

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When we open our gifts, we don’t create piles of everyone’s gifts, instead, we all take turns opening a gift. My Dad and Ryan both took turns handing out gifts to everyone before each round started.

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I got the most intense foam roller I’ve ever seen, and even though it was almost perfect, Ryan and I both agreed that it was way too firm.

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My Dad said that luckily there is a foam roller that’s not as rock solid, so I’ll be exchanging it for that!

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One of the funniest parts of our morning was after Jake had a little too much fun with the catnip and stole all of Kip’s new Christmas gifts.

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Kip was a great sport and never once lost his perfect smile.

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I came out big in the gift department. I received a lot of work out gear, including an Oakley gym bag, Reebok running shorts, Nike Eclipse casual shoes, Yurbuds, cold weather running gloves, a Gap athletic shirt that I’m obsessed with, a Champion 3/4 zip throw over from Target, and a Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS watch!

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I also received 2 pretty scarves, cute red flats, several pieces of jewelry, CDs, a supply of chia seeds and PB2, and a lot of other great items!

After we finished opening, we all went our respective ways and while some of us tidied up and got ready, Ryan and I hit the gym in our basement to work out. I completed 3 additional miles before tackling a tiring strength session.

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When we were all cleaned up and looking pretty, we hit the road to drive 30 minutes north to my aunt and uncles house where we enjoyed great food, Secret Santa, Yankee Swap and Godparents/Godchildren gift swaps.

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My little mini-me!

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My cousin Jay got stuck with last year’s Yankee Swap winning gift, and had the time of his life modeling his new get-up.

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Ladies, he’s single and looking! 😉

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And if you want to know what I looked like as a baby, just take a look at my cousin Heather’s daughter, Zoey, who’s pictured with my Dad. She’s always attached to my Dad’s hip, and it’s so crazy to see him with my mini-me. I know he’s really wanting grandchildren so he loves when he gets to play with Zoe.

I had such determination in being good around the dessert table, but I lost it when I saw my Aunt’s famous mix.

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By the end of the night I was extremely happy and blessed, but also in a food coma, just like Jakey. I hope you all had an amazing Christmas just like my family did.

 

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of my amazing readers! I hope you enjoy a day full of thankfulness, family, love.. and also those top gifts you hinted at to Santa. 😉

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From my family to yours, enjoy your day and eat lots of amazing food!

Time to wake Ryan & Chelsey up and jump on their bed. Present time!

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A Date Filled Weekend!

When I say that this weekend has been busy, I mean it!

Saturday

Yesterday started off with a nice and sweaty 3 mile run followed up by my least favorite strength exercise that the deamon lovely Heather incorporated into my weekly workouts. I always bitch my way through it, and even though I feel beat up and awesome after it, I hate every single second of it.

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I followed up with my favorite strawberry banana ice cream protein shake, which received 2 thumbs up from both of my parents. A sure sign of a home-run.

After my mug of deliciousness, I met up with Allie, my best friend to help her pick out a pair of glasses.

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While assisting Allie, I had a little fun trying on ridiculously ugly glasses on and then came across a pair of Ray-Bans that I fell in true love with. For only $129, I think I might have to buy them soon!

I then hit the gym for a little cardio and sauna session before showering and getting dolled up for a date. I spent from 7:30 until 12:30 talking the night away over a beer and sushi with Mark and had the time of my life. After getting kicked out of the sushi joint, we said goodnight and then proceeded to talk until 2 am. We had such a great time that we ended up going out for lunch today!

Sunday

After 7 hours of sleep, I went for a great 4.5 mile run before grabbing the messiest burgers and fries with Mark at The Farm, a restaurant downtown and right across from his city apartment. We spent several hours together laughing and talking nonstop. I haven’t been this happy in such a long time, nor have I had such an instant connection with someone since my last serious relationship. When he kissed me goodbye today I instantly missed him when he walked back to his apartment, so I know this is a great feeling. In fact, we don’t want to wait until our all-day date on Wednesday to see each other again so we’re getting together on Christmas Eve during the early part of the day to just hang out before our family festivities begin.

After my lunch date with Mark, I had several hours to kill before an annual Christmas Eve Eve Panera dinner date with my girl friends from high school. This has been a tradition of ours since high school, a good 8 years ago, but unfortunately as we get older things get in the way. Some years there are 4 of us, other years 3, but this year it was just Lisha and I as Jaime was occupied with her sister and Jenny was in Maine with her boyfriend.

Lisha and I still had a blast talking about our Christmas plans, men, and the weirdos in the cafe. After our meals, we had a little photo session as we normally do, and had a little fun with it.

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Hopefully next year all 4 of us girls can get together again on Christmas Eve Eve but I was just happy at least 2 of us were able to keep the tradition going!

I’m pretty exhausted so it’s time to curl up in bed and watch Christmas with the Kranks. I’m so excited to see Mark tomorrow, and then celebrate Christmas Eve with my parents, Ryan and Chelsey. Yay!! 🙂

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Christmas Office Party

In all honesty, I had been dreading yesterday’s holiday office party ever since it was announced. I didn’t know what to expect, especially with an office full of awkward men, but in the end, I had one of the best evenings in a long time.

Before heading over to Fratello’s, the marketing girls and I exchanged our Secret Santa gifts. I was a little worried as to what I’d get, and most Secret Santa exchanges always worry me. I always hope that I can pull off the “ohh thanks this is awesome!” face. Luckily this year I didn’t have to worry about that.

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How amazing is the authentic Coach wristlet my boss picked out for me?! I was floored when I opened my box and this pretty baby was looking up at me. I had a Coach clutch that Mike bought for me several Christmas’ ago but it was stolen last March and I’ve been missing it ever since, so this gift was perfect! We had a $20 limit, but knowing my boss, I’m sure she got it for a couple bucks. She’s a couponing queen, and with a Coach outlet a few towns over, I know she scored an amazing deal on it!

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I also received a Panera gift card and 5 scratchy tickets from Chris, the Business Development Manager, who could easily fit in as one of my Dad’s brothers. He’s awesome, and he picked me 2 winning tickets too!

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After our exchange, it was then time for us to head next door to set up the prize tables at Fratello’s before our firm came over.

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We set up in miraculous timing and ended up just sitting around a table and shooting the shit for an hour or so.

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Once everyone arrived, we played a 45 minute round of White Elephant, which consists of picking a wrapped gift and switching with your coworkers for the alloted time. When time is called, whichever gift you’re holding is yours to open and keep.

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Chris, my boss and I were discussing when to call time, and when we saw that Shawna had the Justin Bieber wrapped gift, Chris ran to the front to call time. Shawna walked away with a poster of the Biebs and scratchy tickets. Also, just look at her ugly sweater that claimed 1st prize! I did pretty good myself and left with a Target gift card!

It was then time to eat, and if you remember my previous post, there was some amazing food on the menu. Before sitting down, I enjoyed one mini stuffed mushroom, a shrimp dunked in sauce, and a marinated chicken skewer.

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When it was time for lunch, I chose a broiled salmon, a potato half, green beans and salad. The meal was pretty good but something didn’t sit well, which I think must have been a butter they sautéed in.

The dessert came out quickly after, and my boss, knowing how I am with cake and cupcakes nudged me and teased me that the cake was out. I knew she wanted me to have a piece, and although I originally was going to stand strong, I went up to check out the slices with Jen. My heart stopped when I spotted carrot cake and had to grab it.

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I had several bites of the cake/frosting together, but honestly, the frosting was where it was at, so I went to town eating all of the frosting. Now keep in mind sitting with us were Chris and the President of our company. Chris, noticed what I was doing, started teasing me about my frosting obsession. Well, they couldn’t stop laughing when they saw my finished plate.

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It’s a good thing when you can make the President, V.P, a handful of engineers and your boss laugh, but not so sure if it’s a good thing when your new nickname is “Frosting.” It’s okay, I’ll take it. 😉

P.S, that frosting was AMAZING!

After our dessert, we listened to several speeches, got teary eyed over a surprise retirement dedicated to Woody, and then the raffle for gifts began!

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I was worried I was going to get stuck going home with a bottle of booze, but I lucked out with an early raffle drawing and walked away with a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble! Yay, can’t wait to have fun at B&N, and am hoping to find a great book on nutrition and clean eating.

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All in all I’d say I walked away from our Friday party pretty damn well off! I’m so blessed to work for a firm that values their employees and enjoys spoiling them and taking care of them!

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Getting into the Christmas Spirit in Boston

The snow is falling and it’s truly starting to feel a lot like Christmas! Yesterday after a quick run and lift, I headed down to Boston to spend the day with Mike. We started off the afternoon by heading to the Museum of Fine Arts. What really drew me in was the Royal Family exhibit, and I was extremely excited when Prince William’s face was plastered on a banner outside.


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Sadly I was told I wasn’t allowed to take pictures in the Royal Family exhibit, but I made Mike take a picture of me with the exhibit behind me.

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I know it’s a little blurry, but you can see my future hubby, Prince William behind my head. God he’s so delish!! How excited are we that he’s having a baby? Really hoping it’s a little baby boy.

Speaking of husbands, can we please enjoy the view of my future boyfriend.

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Really not sure why this was my favorite piece in the museum, but I was really loving it. It reminds me of something you’d see in CSI:NY!

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Mike had fun posing like a fancy man in the room that reminded us of “tea and crumpets.” The next room we wandered in he silently screamed with his twin.

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In between taking pictures when not allowed, getting in trouble for touching a piece (oops) and Mike playing around, I’m honestly surprised we weren’t thrown out. If there was an award for the most immature museum goers, we would’ve won the award without any competition.

Unfortunately we didn’t make it through the entire museum before it closed, but we made the best out of what we saw. Mike gets free tickets to the museums and other acts in Boston through his company so we can always go back in the future!

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Once we left at 5, we hopped back onto the T and headed towards Faneuil Hall to enjoy the Christmas decorations.

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I was so excited to see the first Christmas tree all lit up in the center of Faneuil Hall and even got a picture in front of it!

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Mike was famished so we headed inside the Quincy Market to browse the food selections, and stumbled upon some of the BEST looking cookies, brownies, cupcakes and cookie sandwiches ever.

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We decided to share a peanut butter chocolate cookie, and devoured it in 45 seconds or less.

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All I wanna do is go back and get the cookie loaded with M&Ms. Oh my gosh, SO good and worth every bite. Sometimes you just have to treat yo’self and live a little. 😉 In the past I would’ve refused a bite and would’ve felt guilty for the rest of the night, but I even coughed up several bucks to buy it and gladly welcomed sharing half of it with Mike.

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We continued walking through the market browsing the food selections and the yummy men, before venturing back outside to the cold. When we made it outside, everyone was gathered around the main Christmas tree to watch the Blink! show that had just started.

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Blink! is a show that uses the lights on the Christmas trees and every lighted tree that is scattered throughout Faneuil Hall and the lights on the trees blink and light up in accordance with holiday music. A new song is played every half hour, from 4:30pm until 10:00pm. Everyone was in awe, just look at the girls face in the photo above. Easily my favorite part of the night.

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I had a great day and evening with my best friend and I love him dearly!

 

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Decorating the Christmas Tree!

To all of my 121,300 4 followers, I hope you have kept extremely busy this weekend and haven’t missed my lack of blogging this weekend. I have to admit that it felt nice to step away from my computer yesterday. Some times you just need an electronic free day, especially during the holiday season.

Yesterday I started my day with a 4 mile run before running a few Christmas errands and picking out our family Christmas tree.

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Secret Santa gift right there! Now that I think about it, I WANT that hat too!

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My family has never been into fake Christmas trees or “tagging” our trees. In the Lewis family, our tradition is to pile into the truck and drive around all afternoon to the various landscaping companies and browse their selection.

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For the past 2 years, I’ve picked out the winning tree at our first stop and within a handful of minutes.

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After getting home, I ate a quick bowl of Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal before heading over to Lindsay’s for a girls night. We enjoyed wine, talked about our guy troubles, reminisced all our old college memories, and played with her little boy, Jackson.

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Jackson had a blast strangling me by attacking my sweatshirt strings. I even found him halfway up the Christmas tree. That boy is the cutest devil ever!

Sunday

Today has flown by, even though I feel like I haven’t done too much. I woke up around 9:30 and went for a quick 3 mile run before heading out for a movie date with my momma to drool over Gerard Butler and James Tupper in Playing for Keeps.

Oh my goodness, so much deliciousness in that movie! My Mom and I were both and heaven and loved every minute of the movie.

I had to. I'm not sorry.

I had to. I’m not sorry.

If you’re a hopeless romantic and love Gerard Butler, his body and his accent, you’ll love this one! And you can drag your man to it because the beautiful Jessica Biel Timberlake is in it too!

After the movie, My Mom and I came back to decorate the Christmas tree and laugh over our favorite ornaments.

Since my Dad set the tree up and put the lights on, he left the decorating to us. The angel will go up when Ryan arrives home on Christmas Eve. That’s his job, and don’t worry, it always results in a ridiculous photo shoot.

Here are a few of my favorite ornaments that have been hung for years and years:

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Evan, my childhood best friend made this one for me when we were growing up. I was a cute chunker, eh?!

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This one is for my best friend, Goldie who I had for 14 1/2 years. He was gold, how original with his name right? I miss that little boy!

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When I was growing up in Vermont, I used to take craft classes after school, and during the holiday season I made both of these!

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This might be my ultimate favorite ornament. The gingerbread brother and sister!

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And lastly, this ornament should give you a hint at to what my favorite Christmas movie is. 🙂

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Now that the tree is up, it’s truly beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

Now it’s time to drag my butt to the gym and complete my Total Body Workout before hunkering down on the couch for the evening with Christmas Gerard Butler movies. 😉

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Ugly Sweater Shopping and Christmas Tree Decorating… at Work

Phew, today was quite the busy day! My boss had me running around all morning and it was a welcome change from being at my desk all day.

Since the program that I use was being worked on by our IT Gods, there was literally nothing that I could do.

The first errand I was given was to pick up a $50 gift card for a trade show tomorrow. That was easy. The 2nd errand was extremely stressful.

I have one coworker, Tim, who is absolutely crazy. I’m sure everyone  has a coworker who is unexplainable. When my coworkers introduced me to him when I started at our firm, they pretty much kept saying, “it’s just Tim,” or “that’s Tim for ya.” I’ve realized that now I say the exact same phrases when I talk about him to family and friends. There’s no explanation, it’s just Tim!

At our firm’s holiday party, Tim always wears an incredible ugly Christmas sweater, so this year, my boss decided to hold the first annual Tim Audet Ugly Sweater Contest.

Errand #2 included me going to purchase an ugly sweater that would be awarded to the winner of the contest. Please, this had to have been one of the most stressful tasks I’ve had in a long time. I drove 20 miles between 2 towns and went to 7 different stores before I found a winner.

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I was so flustered, stressed, sweating from the stress, and hungry, so I was ecstatic when I came across this gem in the SECOND Walmart I visited. This was the last store I was going to visit before giving up and hanging my head in my boss’s office. Instead, I got the stamp of approval from my boss and both Jen and Nichole, and was told that I did good.

After all of that stress I needed comfort food before the gym.

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Half of a PB2 & banana sandwich. Delish! This sucker powered me through my “Total Body Workout” and a 1 mile run this afternoon, which I then enjoyed a free strawberry banana protein shake courtesy of our gym’s cafe.

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It was creamy, filling and hit the spot! I had just enough time to shower before the girls and I set up the firm’s Christmas tree in the main lobby.

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We also enjoyed the decorating with Pandora’s Christmas station, courtesy of me, and a dessert pizza from 900 Degrees, an awesome pizza restaurant across the street. My boss, who can be seen in the grey vest above, really wanted me to try some, and I have to admit, the fruit, whipped cream and nuts looked so good, so I scrapped the toppings off and ate that.

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Seriously, though, not even the healthiest person could turn this down. I will admit that it did leave my tummy feeling off for the remainder of the day and evening. 😦

The tree came out beautifully, but since I never enter the office from the main entrance, I might just have to change my morning route.

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Such a beautiful view for all of our clients and visitors before they enter our office.

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I just love Christmas!

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New Protein Powder & Operation Santa Clause

I’m not sure about all of you, but today would have been a great personal day. I’m still behind on my sleep… majorly! Last night I had so much pointless stuff on my mind, and I didn’t fall asleep until 11. Coupled with my lack of sleep all weekend, I feel like a complete zombie today!

I struggled through my run this morning, which I have no shame about putting the blame on yesterday evenings Total Body Workout that was centered around squats on the smith machine. My little legs were sore this morning, but I don’t think doing that specific workout was good to do in the evening since I wasn’t active after that and went to bed several short hours later.

Morning Workout

  • 3 mile run, .85 mile walk intervals
  • 2 sets of 15 stair push-ups
  • 1 minute plank hold
  • 50 heel touchers
  • 30 scissors
  • 50 crunches and 50 side-to-side crunches
  • 2 sets of 20 mountain climbers
  • Stretching

Breakfast

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Breakfast included half of a grapefruit and a chocolate protein shake courtesy of my new protein powder that I scored a great deal on via Ebates.com on Cyber Monday. Double savings baby!

I ordered the Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard Extreme Milk Chocolate, from GNC, and let me tell you, this stuff is EXTREMELY good!

I always worry when I try a new chocolate protein about whether the taste will be good, if it’ll mix well with milk, and how it will hold up in a shake. So far, all various shake methods have worked and my favorite way to drink this is just mixed in with my vanilla almond milk. Even my Mom, who doesn’t typically enjoy the shakes I make, gave this a thumbs up.

Are there any protein powders that you swear by?

I’m excited to try the Chocolate Mint, Caramel Toffee Fudge, and Vanilla Ice Cream flavors down the road. Delish!

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Today has been a busy one at work. Our gifts for the 13 children we adopted for Operation Santa Clause are due today at 4 pm.

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My boss had me run out to the store this morning to spend $40 on a few extra gifts for 3 sisters. I ended up buying them scarves and gloves, friendship bracelets and beads, along with Monopoly and Don’t Break the Ice.

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We bought winter essentials for the kids, including winter coats, hats, gloves, scarves, boots, along with clothing, such as jeans, shirts, PJ’s, sweaters, underwear and also socks.

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Then it was time to have fun!

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Depending on the children’s ages, we bought dolls, action figures, coloring books, hair accessories, make-up, nail polish, iPods, CDs, legos, board games, and my favorite, a bike (which I rode to the conference room)!

Now it’s time to wrap the gifts in hopes of making the deadline!

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Tonight is Week #3 of personal training with Heather, and all I can say is that I hope she throws a bit of core work at me.

Oh, and before I get productive with Christmas gifts, I need to make a big and freaky move of switching over to a host so that I can redesign my blog and have more access to plug-ins and get full control of my blog. Do you guys recommend any hosting sites? I’ve been recommended to Dreamhost but reviews are terrible! I’m so helpless. Any advice would be awesome! 🙂

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