Tag Archives: Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

It’s the most wonderful time of the year
There’ll be much mistletoeing
And hearts will be glowing
When loved ones are near
It’s the most wonderful time of the year
– Edward Pola & George Wyle

Hope you have a fabulous holiday season!

Wishing you lots of love, wonderful memories with family and friends, and time to reflect on the year that passed.

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Cheers to a happy, healthy 2015!

What are your holiday plans?

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Better late than never

I’ve been two steps behind on everything for the past few months. It’s an odd thing, but the busier I am the more organized I am and the more work I accomplish.

Take this past summer. Kelly was bike racing and training with a club, meaning he was gone from home some workdays for 16 hours. I’d walk Harry twice a day, work a full day, make supper and lunches, and get in my own training. On weekends I’d stick to my house cleaning schedule and always had healthy, home-baked muffins and fuel for us.

Fast forward to fall and winter: I bake muffins every few weeks if we’re lucky, Harry rarely walks (his choosing when it’s cold!), and my house cleaning is no longer on a perfected schedule. Is anyone else way more productive when they’re busy?

Well, this weekend I took a step in the right direction. We had a Christmas party on Saturday night and I finally got in the holiday spirit!

Post-party family photo

Post-party family photo

So when Sunday morning rolled around I took advantage. I set up our Christmas tree, hung our stockings, and made our house festive!

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This is the first time ever I’ve decorated the tree. I usually coerce my mom or sister into doing it for us!

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I love our travel tree. We put a few new ornaments on it this year: China, Coeur d’Alene, Whistler, and New Orleans.

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And to top it off, I baked muffins so we have a hint of cinnamon aroma wafting throughout the house.

When did you decorate? Are you better with a schedule when you’re busy?

Tis the season – food & fitness

It’s easy to eat and drink more and exercise less at this time of year between American Thanksgiving, Hanukah, holiday parties, Christmas, cooler weather, and dark mornings and evenings.

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Before you know it January rolls around, your pants are snug, and you realize you might have enjoyed the holidays a little too much. (Just me?!)

But some of the tips out there on how to beat that? They seem a little unimaginative and archaic.

Eat before you go to a party so you don’t overindulge? Put on lipstick after you eat to prevent going for more? Munch on carrots while in the kitchen to avoid taste-testing as you go?

Let’s come up with better ways to stay healthy during the holidays so that we can actually enjoy them without worrying about a few extra pounds.

Adjust your expectations. Realize you may not be able to get in all your scheduled workouts and you might eat less healthy than normal. Maybe even figure out if you’re comfortable gaining a bit of weight and how much.

Commit to fitness. Time is valuable over the holidays. It seems like any spare time you used to have is eaten up with visiting, shopping, or cooking and cleaning. If you don’t have time for your regular workout, switch it up. A short workout is better than none, and can really make you sweat.

Include family. This one kind of goes with the above point. If you don’t want to miss out on time with family and friends, include them. Do something fun like ice skating, tobogganing, or skiing. Or take them on a walk to see the decorated homes.

All or nothing. Eating doesn’t have to follow the all or none theory. If you’re going to eat ONE bad meal, you still have the opportunity to eat two really good meals and healthy snacks.

Bring something healthy. You may not always choose the healthiest options at the food table, but by bringing one you know there will be that option. Kelly and I generally bring a vegan entrée to dinners, so I know there is something healthy I can eat if I choose. Although the ‘fill up with veggies’ tip bugs me, my plate tends to have a lot of salad and vegetables on it.

Be positive and ENJOY. The holidays are a time to celebrate and be with family and friends. It’s hard to enjoy when you’re stressing about missed workouts and extra calories. So quite simply, don’t.

Get back on track. After a party, go back to regular eating and exercising until the next one. It’ll be a lot easier to get back on track come January if you haven’t gone overboard for an entire month!

I have never been able to turn down a homemade perogy, and I can’t say no to dessert when there is seasonal baking out. Hand me a hot chocolate with some Bailey’s or Kaluha and I’m a happy girl. I’m ok with this.

Vegan chocolate cupcakes with peppermint 'buttercream' icing

Vegan chocolate cupcakes with peppermint ‘buttercream’ icing

I know I eat healthy and workout the majority of the time. So I let myself indulge without worry.

What are your healthy holiday tips? 

How many holiday parties do you have to attend?

Catch up and cross training

Hope you enjoyed time with your family and friends over the holidays!

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We had a fabulous holiday visiting with family and enjoying a few days off together. I was spoiled rotten again this Christmas and got some amazing gifts including a beautiful new mountain bike (Giant Trance X1 W) and some other awesome gear!

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We also had a little Christmas crook who loves to steal gifts and unwrap them. It is priceless to watch Harold sneak a gift and unwrap it!

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It was ridiculously cold over Christmas, but I still managed to get out and run in the freezing temps, bike in the warmth of my basement, swim some laps, and head out in snowshoes! I got a pair of running snowshoes last year but we didn’t have much snow so I only used them once. I bought Kelly a pair for Christmas, so we took them out on Dec. 26.

These things are no joke! It’s not bad to run on packed snow but to run on untouched snow is pretty intense! We lasted 12 minutes and had two sprint races before I collapsed into a pile of snow. So fun and I can’t wait to use them more to cross train!

We also tried something new to me. We went to a rock climbing gym! I am terrified of heights and have weak arms, so I wasn’t expecting much. I was so proud of myself for making it to the top twice!

I climbed the wall face to the right of the guy climbing!

I climbed the wall face to the right of the guy climbing!

The weather warmed up beautifully this past weekend so we hit the outdoors again. We took Harold on a perfect trail walk in the river valley.

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Even though he hasn’t been walking much due to the cold, he is still as speedy as ever! Neither of us can beat him no matter how hard we try!

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We also went for an amazing cross-country ski. There are some phenomenal trails nearby. We saw a couple deer and even a moose! Oh, and I face-planted hard after flying down a hill. And my husband got a photo of my crash landing.

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It’s been an incredible holiday season. I find it hard to believe that 2012 is coming to a close and 2013 is just around the corner. We have some big adventures ahead of us and I can’t wait.

Wishing you a happy, happy New Year and many great memories and adventures in 2013!

How were your holidays? What was your favourite part?

Happy holidays

Happy holidays, Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noel.

Love and Laughter Front

I’m off to enjoy a few more days of great eating, lots of visiting, and sharing the love.

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop in and read my little space. Wishing you lots of love and warmth and delicious calories this week!

You’re a mean one, {Mrs} Grinch

I enjoy the holidays. I like catching up with family I don’t see often. I like going out with friends. I like the feeling of the holidays with that buzz in the air. I think I’m one of the few people that enjoys potlucks. I even love Christmas music.

So what don’t I love? Decorating. For the last four Christmases, my mom or my sister ‘helped’ me decorate my tree, my railing, and the rest of the house. (Meaning they do it and I pretend to help.) Last year I even made a Pinterest-inspired advent calendar with mini envelopes and fun activities.

Fireplace

I think our house is gorgeous when it’s all done up. I just don’t love the doing part. (Don’t get me started on the dismantling of it all!)

So this year I rebelled.

I put up our mini tree that usually goes upstairs. And that’s it. I put a tree skirt around the base of the table it’s on. I dressed our chairs. And I hung our stockings.

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My secret- I love it! It’s simple. And the tree has a lot of great memories. Our mini tree is full of ornaments from places we’ve travelled.

This year we added a new Jasper ornament, a new Cannon Beach ornament, and a Lake Tahoe ornament.

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We don’t have ornaments from everywhere, as we sometimes forget or can’t find any.  But a few of my favourites include a kangaroo and koala ornament from Australia when we were there in 2004, a Jasper ornament from the weekend we got engaged, and a lifeguard chair from Boston from when I worked as a lifeguard in Pennsylvania in the summer of 2002.

OK- this list could be endless as I love every single ornament on there. When I look at the tree, it reminds me of all the great trips we’ve been on, all the adventures we’ve had, and all the beautiful places we’ve been fortunate enough to see.

Are you a decorator? What’s your favourite ornament?