Tag Archives: traditions

ONE BIG POST:Whirlwind Recap & Christmas Eve ’12

26 Dec

Hey readers, Merry Christmas to all of you! My gift to you this season is a quick recap of the days leading up to Christmas Eve for me! I’ve been spending a lot of time with family, some friends, and resting and relaxing with myself so I took a little hiatus from the blogosphere. Saturday morning I attempted to sleep in before I got started with my day, but I didn’t want to miss my chance to go grocery shopping with my mom and pick up a couple things I would need to stay on track with healthy eating while I’m home. I rolled out of bed, ate a small breakfastIMG_1631and went out to Whole Foods and Costco with my Mom for some samples galore!IMG_1632Then ate a lunchIMG_1637before  I met up with my cousin Lauren and went shopping with her for some last minute christmas gifts for my mom and dad. I finally got the coat I’ve been eyeing on a good deal too!IMG_1770After all that shopping I was one tired girl. I had dinner with my family then went out to Ashley’s Ice Cream in New Haven with my dad and brother (I had Strawberry since they make it fresh daily it was delicious! And had chunks of fresh strawberries in it 🙂 )IMG_1645 IMG_1649IMG_1646 IMG_1647 IMG_1648

Sunday morning I was up early to go to the Bronx in New York with my family for all the Italian food shopping. I packed a Sweet Breakfast Scramble with Cinnamon Raisin PB to start my day. We wait online for about 3 hours, in 30 degree weather (I wore 6 layers) for our cheese and pasta – we’re a little crazy. After still having to wait for my dad to eat lunch, I snagged some tea and a raisin bran muffin to hold me over.IMG_1654IMG_1661 IMG_1660 IMG_1657IMG_1655 IMG_1656After spotting Kevin Jonas out and about a couple times, it was time for our other tradition, Dominick’s! It’s a locally owned restaurant that has been there since my dad went to college at Fordham and we still see the same waiters every time. You sit next to people you don’t know which is always fun and very much the neighborhood feel. I ordered Eggplant Parm but only ate a small part of the colossal portion.IMG_1662 IMG_1663 IMG_1664 IMG_1666 IMG_1668 IMG_1670I laid in bed for awhile when we got home because I was so exhausted, ate some cereal for dinner, then headed over to my friend Jackson’s where Eric him and Dan were working on music.IMG_1672IMG_1675Monday morning was Christmas Eve! I was able to sleep in, luckily, and woke up to a good start to my day with a solid breakfast. Then a couple hours later, my mom brother and I went for a run and afterwards I made a smoothie then I hit the gym for some strength training and circuit training to try and work on my butt 🙂 (so. many. squats.)IMG_1682IMG_1685 IMG_1686IMG_1687 IMG_1691Ater the gym, it was chocolate milk time!IMG_1692After a quick glass I went upstairs and got ready, realxed until it was snack time around 6 o’clock.IMG_1695 IMG_1696 IMG_1700 IMG_1697IMG_1701 IMG_1702 IMG_1703 IMG_1706 IMG_1708I enjoyed some of the crab dip, some veggies, a little bit of cheese, and then realized we weren’t going to eat dinner until after 10pm. (so typical for our family, but always leaves me with a headache and not feeling well). So I went into the fridge and whipped up a snack (cottage cheese, raisins, banana) to tide me over while we decorated the tree.IMG_1711 IMG_1710Upon realizing it was snowing, it was time to eat dinner. Zucchini, Veal Parmesan, Fresh Egg Noodle Pasta and Homemade Tomato Sauce.IMG_1715 IMG_1716 IMG_1717After dinner my family whipped out this huge Chocolate Souffle cake my mom always makes, but it was close to midnight and I was full in addition to being exhausted so I opted for my chocolate covered strawberry instead. While my mom got the cake ready, there was some dog snuggling action goin on. He, Oliver, was my Christmas Present 6 Christmas Eve’s ago! 🙂IMG_1722IMG_1724 IMG_1727 IMG_1730 IMG_1731 IMG_1732Then my brother and I exchanged gifts with each other. I got him a couple movies on Blu-Ray and a Timex Ironman Sports Watch while he got me the Lululemon Power Y Tank in my favorite color, blue!IMG_1719 IMG_1721

It was a great evening for sure! Hope all of you had a wonderful holiday and are enjoying the time with your family and friends! My Christmas Day post will be up shortly 🙂

Until next time,

Natasha

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Peanut Butter Co. & An Annual Holiday Party!

22 Dec

Happy Saturday readers!

Yesterday was my big travel day from Washington DC to NYC to back home in CT. I started off my morning before the sun even came out at 530AM so I could brush my teeth, get ready, and be outside by 6AM waiting for a bus to the metro.IMG_1594 IMG_1596It was cute, since I had to carry my bear a man on the metro bus struck up a conversation with me about it. We ended up talking and he was so sweet. After the holidays he’s traveling to Japan for 8 days. He worked there back in his 20s and always wanted to go back, so he is now! It was a little inspirational to see someone following through on a dream like that and a great start to my “holiday break.”

I took the metro to my bus and met up with my brother. We departed at 7AM so I naturally slept the first hour and snacked on an apple about halfway through the trip.IMG_1597Once we got there, our parents were running late, no big surprise, so Nick and I went to a Starbucks and just chatted for about an hour catching up. While he chose a coffee, I chose a Mighty Mango Naked Smoothie. Always a good go to for me when I’m thirsty and hungry 🙂IMG_1598 IMG_1599However, I only drank half because I knew my family and I were going somewhere extra special for lunch today…IMG_1600Does this look familiar to any of you readers?

To give you a hint, after we ordered our sandwiches I also made sure to get a couple special purchases:IMG_1601Yes! That’s right! I went to the place where Cinnamon Raisin Swirl PB comes from!!! 🙂 I was so excited for this little venture and it did not disappoint. There were so many interesting choices to choose from, and the dessert menu was TO DIE for, but I eventually chose The Elvis: maple syrup peanut butter, banana slices, and bacon on whole wheat bread with a big glass of skim milk to “wash it down” as they say on the menu :).IMG_1602 IMG_1603 IMG_1604Although I wasn’t sure at first if I would get the bacon, I decided to try it. I rarely have it and figured if I was ordering a sandwich called the Elvis, it wouldn’t be right sans bacon. It was delicious. I enjoyed every last bite.

The restaurant had a really classic feel to it. It was small, yet cozy with all these paintings and pictures up from the last couple generations of what peanut butter used to be advertised like. It gave you this really home-y feel and felt very classic.IMG_1605 IMG_1606 IMG_1607What was really cute is on the Potato Chip packaging the owner of the company explains when he was a kid his PB&J was served to him with carrot sticks and chips. He wasn’t allowed to eat the chips without having the carrots. He encouraged us to make sure we ate our carrots or his mom might come after us. I thought it was a great message to send out about balanced eating but in a very approachable and personal way. Peanut Butter Co. you are awesome.

Once home back in CT, I walked into my room and was so happy to see it again 🙂IMG_1609 I laid in bed until it was time to get ready for my friend’s annual holiday party. They’ve had it every year for the last 5 or 6 years and it became especially great once we all went off to college. I can always count on seeing this group of people once a year and it never fails to be a good time. I had some Shrimp and Cashewchinese food leftovers my parents had in the fridge with a simple salad on the side. I knew I would be snacking at the holiday party, so I wanted to get some good nutrients in me beforehand.IMG_1610 IMG_1611 IMG_1612I ate at our dining room table that my mom spends hours decorating each year. Our whole house becomes “Chrismafized” and there’s lots of small details throughout – like my nutcracker name holder. Once I headed out, I swung over to target to grab a gift for the present swap game. Tradition.IMG_1613While shopping, I had a couple gifts in my hand, but ultimately decided to pick a gift for a specific audience. When people get ambiguous gifts they’re either funny or traded back and forth a lot because people want something else, so I wanted to pick a gift that someone would definitely enjoy. I decided to get some Burt’s Bees tinted lip balms and bought myself a book to read over break. Perks of Being a Wallflower 🙂IMG_1614 IMG_1615I got to the party pretty much right on time, somewhat fashionably late by 15 minutes, and was drawn to Jack’s buffalo chicken dip he made. Holy wow. It was so delicious! And Haley’s boyfriend made bacon wrapped salmon which was also, amazing. It was dangerous to sit inbetween the two, but I enjoyed each bite and spaced them out. It’s always hard for me to avoid such temptation at parties, especially when everyone around me isn’t really concerned about it and enjoys what they’re having. At times during the party I found myself beating myself up for what I was eating and at those points I walked around the party and would go talk to someone different to keep me entertained and out of my own head.IMG_1616We played the present swap game, caught up on how everyone’s life is going, shared personal stories, and I was laughing hysterically for a good portion of the night. I didn’t take a picture, but in the gift swap I won The Dark Knight Rises on DVD! WOOO! Such a good gift year for me 🙂IMG_1617 IMG_1619 IMG_1622 IMG_1624 IMG_1626 IMG_1629Then it was time for dessert! I tried one of each, but my ultiamte favorite was the Red Velvet munchkins Haley and Lauren made. They were incredibleIMG_1620 IMG_1621I eventually decided I couldn’t be a prisoner to my own mind games, and just decided I would enjoy the evening, and hop back on the balance wheel tomorrow. Especially since I’m planning on moving to the other coast next year, I’m not quite sure how next years holiday will go. I’m not going crazy, but I want to be able to enjoy things and not penalize myself for it, not carry the guilt. Self control is still something I am working towards, but it will only be that much harder to achieve if I am constantly analyzing and beating myself up for certain things. I’ve gotta balance it all out.

The evening ended around 1am and it was great to stay that late, despite how tired I was. I am really looking forward to the party next year, and hopefully I can make it back for our 5 Year High School Reunion. Woah.

Until next time,

Natasha