WEEKLY WRAP UP/WEEKEND COUNTDOWN

What got me through the week and what I’m looking forward to this weekend!

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Getting into the holiday spirit

Every day is one step closer to Christmas, which is simultaneously exciting and nerve wracking considering there’s so much to be done.  Luckily for me, most of shopping is done and now I’m trying to spend this time savoring every bit of the holidays, including participating in my favorite tradition of my adult life.  So find something fun and new to do for the holidays and get out there and enjoy them!

  1. Winter Wedding Florals:  I’m not technically getting married in the winter, but I am getting married during the holidays, so finding the right balance of festive and elegant can be challenging.   I had my first meeting with my florist today (via Skype with my mom representing me in person, thanks mom!) and I loved it.  Pinterest overwhelms me sometimes, so instead I made an inspiration board via Powerpoint and shared it with her and we discussed how to make my vision come to life.  For more ideas, this article is helpful.  
  2. Superficial: I’m an Andy Cohen fan but I wasn’t planning on reading his latest book.  Then I heard him on his Sirius radio show, where he was being interviewed by guests about what we wrote in his book, and I was intrigued.  This book is candid, funny and offers some fun inside glimpses at the Real Housewives stars and some real celebrities.  It’s a quick read and one that will be traveling with me over the holidays.  
  3. Holiday Movie Showcase: Classic movies have always held a special place in my heart, but especially the holiday classics.  There’s a wonderful old theater nearby that always plays some of the best old films during the holidays, like It’s A Wonderful Life and White Christmas.  Sure, these films are played on TV frequently this time of year, but it’s truly a memorable experience to be able to see them on the big screen, surrounded by your neighbors, young and old.  It’s probably the best representation of Christmas spirit I’ve ever witnessed and I love it!
  4. The Nutcracker:  The ballet is something I’ve always enjoyed and what better way to experience it than with this holiday classic?  This year the Joffrey ballet in Chicago has re-imagined the concept and it’s received a lot of acclaim, so I was very excited to see it this past weekend.  This classic ballet shows in numerous theaters throughout the country, so find a production near you and give it a try!

Photo #1 and #2 via and via.

 

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Happy Holidays!
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Gotta Frittata

Delicious recipes for the curious cook!

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Recently I was gifted with a new cookbook (a great gift in my opinion), which was Charlie Palmer’s The Guide to the New American Kitchen.  Immediately I found a dozen of recipes I was eager to try, mostly because they seem deceptively simple, yet tasty, and there are plenty of ideas to please any palate.  

I was searching for a dinner option that was fairly easy and cozy, for a snowy Sunday night, but was also tasty and healthy.  I found exactly what I was looking for with Palmer’s recipe for this shrimp frittata, which I slightly adjusted based on the vegetables I had on hand.  This was easy to whip up and didn’t disappoint.  It also looked beautiful when it came out of the oven and I realized this would be a great dish to serve guests for brunch.  

For anyone looking for a new cookbook, I encourage you to check out Palmer’s.  It features new twists on classics and is divided into sections that are relevant to today’s cooks and their kitchens, like a “Breakfast for Dinner” chapter.  One other bonus? Each recipe features a wine suggestion with some helpful hints for pairings.

HOW TO STAY HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

Motivation to get you through hump day!

As I mentioned in my previous post, it can be hard to maintain healthy habits throughout the craze of the holiday season, but it’s not impossible.  There are ways to enjoy the holidays and indulge within reason, while not letting go completely.  Keeping up with a consistent exercise routine, eating healthy when not at holiday parties and allowing yourself sometime to chill out and decompress will make it easier to allow yourself to occasionally indulge at a holiday celebration…without the guilt.  Afterall, it’s all about balance!

Here are some tips:

  1. Eat right on “off” nights: There will be plenty of holiday dinners and cocktail parties where it might be hard to make healthy eating decisions.  On nights in, try to cook dinner at home and make a dish filled with proteins and veggies, to help keep you energized and full while staying healthy.  Think hearty, plant based meals.  

    What to try: Spiced & Charred Carrots.  Pair it with a side salad and it’s enough for dinner.  

  2. Make healthy treats: There’s a near endless supply of desserts during the holidays- cookies, candies, hot chocolate and so much more. I’m certainly not suggesting you refrain from these altogether (I don’t want to ruin your holiday!), but there are some healthy treats you can make to keep you from overindulging.  Check out Pinterest for plenty of healthy eating ideas, but my favorite healthy cookies are below.  I’ve already made a batch of these for Christmas!

    What to try: Almond Butter Cookies.

  3. Take advantage of current promotions: There are a ton of promotions, sales and deals during the holidays and it’s a great time to try a new workout or load up on fitness packages.  Buying more classes or taking advantage of a new client promotion will help you stay on track now, rather than waiting until after the holidays to jumpstart your fitness routine.  
  4. Have fun without guilt: Don’t let the holidays go by without enjoying them.  Thinking about every single occasion as an opportunity for indulgence or misstep is not going to help.  Instead, try to indulge within reason.  Think about the foods you truly enjoy and look forward to this time of year and allow yourself to have them and enjoy them.  This will help you to feel satisfied and prevent you from overeating.  

Photos of #1 and #2

Wide Leg Pants

Inspiration for the new week!

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I tend to shy away from wide leg bottoms.  Because I’m petite, I can easily be overwhelmed by the volume and appear to drown in my pants, which is not the look I’m going for.  For that reason, I’ve mostly shied away from the culottes trend, but when I saw this version from J Crew, I figured I’d give it a try.

They’re wide but with a tailored waistline and a good heel elongates the leg and prevents that drowning effect I want to avoid.  They would look just as good with stilettos or wedges as they do with strappy sandals, like I chose. Another plus? They work well both in and out of the office.  

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Fashion Note: I’m wearing pants and a top by J.Crew and shoes by Steve Madden.