Christmas with Zoe at 16 months. 

Christmas is a magical day, especially when a toddler is involved.

This was Zoe’s second Christmas, and I had plenty of friends tell me, that at 16 months she would still be to young to understand. Well this little lady, understood plenty, and had a blast.

Let me start from the beginning…

Thanksgiving ended, and I was ready to start getting in Christmas mode. My favorite part about Christmas is the Christmas Tree. 

December is for Tree Picking…

I always get a live tree.

I love picking it out, and cutting it down. Cutting down a tree, means it is always fresh.

This year we went to Middleburg Tree Farm to cut our tree down. We went early in the season, so there was an incredible selection. I normally like a Douglas Fir, (yellow green needle), but this year we switched it up and got a Blue Spruce. The Blue Spruce has a blue, gray needle, and our tree was absolutely stunning. 



Once we got the tree set up in the house, Zoe pointed at it, saying, “Tree?” She is use to pointing at the trees on our run, so she was a little confused on why there was a tree in the living room. 

I tested out the Christmas tree lights, while Zoe played with them.

It took me three hours to baby proof the tree. I had to arrange the ornaments in a certain way so that they would be safe for Zoe. But once the tree was completely decorated, I explained each ornament to her. She was very good at just looking, and not pulling off the decorations. Her favorite ornaments were the monkey, and elephant. 


Meeting Santa


We made an appointment at the Tysons Gallaria to see Santa. This worked really well last year, no line. Unfortunately, this year, with no line, and no one else there, which made it really hard to show or explain to Zoe what was going to happen. It is totally normal for children her age to be scared, and that’s exactly what happened. 


After she was finished, two older girls jumped on Santa’s lap and hugged him, naming all of the presents they were wishing for. Zoe watched them, and then looked at me like she wanted a do-over. 

Christmas Cards…

I love to receive Christmas cards. So this year I decided I was definitely going to send one out. So I made one with Zoe on it, and love the finish product. 

Although, I got them out early, I didn’t feel it was early enough. Next year, I want them ready during November, so I don’t have the extra stress of getting them done in time. 
I displayed all of my the cards I received. 


Christmas Eve…

This year I hosted Christmas Eve. Erik and I made lasagna. I made my homemade sauce the night before, so all Erik had to do was assemble the lasagna. I also made a roasted beet and brussel sprouts salad. It was fun having everyone over. 


On Christmas Eve, I stayed up late making my homemade granola. Filled them in mason jars, added a bow and tag, as my homemade gift. 

Christmas Morning…
I woke up early, to make cinnamon rolls from scratch. Once all of my presents were wrapped we headed over to my moms. 


Woah! Santa came!!

It took three hours to open all of the presents. Zoe was really into the whole process. She would open the present, then want to open the box to play with the toy. 


Her favorite presents were her Elmo stuffed animal, her tea set, her giraffe bike, and her play running stroller. 


Nap time…

Everyone was happy, but exhausted. We ended up heading home for afternoon naps. 



While everyone napped I snuck out for a Christmas run! 

The sun was shining, and my run felt very rejuvenating.

Christmas Dinner…

We headed back over to my mom’s house for Christmas dinner. Emily and Ryan made a salad and a rib roast. Everything was tasty. 

Zoe played more with her tea set. She kept asking everyone if they wanted any. She would ask, “Cuppy? Tea?


This holiday season was so special! I am beyond thankful for every card, every gift, delicious food, beautiful decorations, and being able to spend it with my closest family and friends. 

Since note: (Zoe had an early bed time so she missed out on the Christmas Eve family photo, but she made it in the Christmas night photo.)


And of course I am beyond thankful that my 16 month old daughter, Zoe, had a magical Christmas season. 





How was your Holiday? I hope it was warm and joyful! 

copyright 2016 sweat1xdaily 


Vegan Chocolate Nog Truffles 


Because of the dramatic Election, the holidays seem to have been overshadowed. Is this how everyone feels? Or is it just me because I live in Washington, DC. Well, we can not forget them! Thanksgiving is approaching – it’s next week. To get in the holiday spirit, I have been making Truffles. These Chocolate Nog Truffles cane from a recipe I found in Veg News. They are spiked with spicy rum and nutmeg. They scream, “It’s the Holidays!” They are also really easy to make, I promise.

Here is what you need…

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 3 3/4 cups powder sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons dark or spicy rum
  • 1/2 cup sliver or chopped almonds
  • 2 cups vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon vegan shortening
  • Roasted almonds or toasted coconut flakes for garnish.

Here is what you do…

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Using a handheld mixer, cream butter. Add powder sugar and nutmeg. Beat until coarse crumbs form. Slowly pour in rum and bear until fluffy. Fold in sliver or chopped almonds. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Line baking sheet with wax paper or parchment paper. Remove mixture from refrigerator and use hands to roll into truffle balls. Place balls on to baking sheet and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. In a double broiler over medium heat melt chocolate and shortening. Stir and combine. 
  4. Remove truffle balls from refrigerator. Using a fork slowly lift truffle ball from baking sheet and dip it in the melted chocolate mixture.
  5. Once all the truffles are covered with chocolate top each truffle with a roasted almond or toasted coconut. 
  6. Place back in the refrigerator and let cool until chocolate mixture has harden into a shell. 
  7. Share with friends and family. Enjoy! 

I brought these Truffles into work and everyone loved them. These would also be great to bring to any holiday party. 

What is your favorite holiday snack, dessert, or dish? Has anyone made Truffles before? 

copyright 2016 sweat1xdaily

a Merry Christmas recap

Christmas is over. (sigh)

I have mixed feelings about this.

In a way, this Christmas season was stressful.¬†Thanksgiving was so late. Christmas came so fast. I was super busy at work. I felt like there was no time to shop, plan, cook, chop down a tree, send out cards etc… The on going Christmas music started to annoy me.

But in another light, I am sad to see it go.

I love shopping at the Christmas market in DC. And seeing a random person dressed up as Santa really puts you in the Christmas spirit.

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Also during Christmas time. My house looks amazing with classy Christmas decorations. I loved all of the Christmas cards I received. They are my favorite!

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My dogs love Christmas more than anyone I know.

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Especially my maltese.

8979_10102182913590716_3493053952912861067_nNow that my husband and I are married. My sister thought it would be a fun idea to start a new Christmas tradition. So this year, I hosted Christmas Eve. We drank Cranberry Champagne.10247303_10102192559724786_2230103488879420499_n

We ate my homemade¬†lasagna – the sauce was my nana’s recipe.

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On Christmas day, we woke up early, and went to my mom’s to open presents. We all gave and received some great gifts.

Later we ate lobsters for Christmas dinner.

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I baked Christmas cookies.

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Then for dessert we ate my homemade Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttermilk Frosting. The cake is gluten free.

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Everything was delicious.

The day after Christmas, my sister and I did a little shopping. I definitely have a new outfit to wear every day of this week. She got some great stuff too. I know this isn’t a fashion blog, but I’ll post my outfits on instagram just in case you are interested in what I wear when I am not in workout clothes. ¬†Oh p.s. Did you know free people now has workout clothes? They are pretty stylish.

On Saturday, we did Christmas with my husbands parents. It was fun to open more presents, and hear all about their lovely time spent in Idaho. Lucky for them, they had a White Christmas.

At the end, of it all, my favorite part about the holiday is eating good food, drinking good drinks, and hanging out with loved ones. Oh and watching some great Christmas movie.

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday! 

What’s your favorite thing about the holidays? Did you receive any awesome fitness related presents?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

Turkey Trots and Cheesecake

Last year I wrote about Turkey Trots and Pies.

This year it was all about the Cheesecake!

I made a Sweet Potato Cheesecake earlier in November as a test run, so I would be prepared for Thanksgiving. I brought it into the salon and it was gone in 5 minutes. Guess it was good. On Wednesday we had a Thanksgiving feast at the salon. Everyone requested that I make the Sweet Potato Cheesecake again, so I did, along with a big pot of Butternut Squash Soup.  Everything was a big hit!

So when it came to my family’s Thanksgiving, we all, headed to my mom’s house. Along with some mashed potatoes and root vegetables, I brought over a Sweet Potato Cheesecake with some fresh homemade whipped cream. Yum!

As for my Thanksgiving tradition РRunning a Turkey Trot.  Every year I run a different one in the area.  This year, Lina and I ran the Arlington one. It was a 5k of hills. The turkey trot is by far one of my favorite races. I love it  for two main reasons, 1) it celebrates fall, 2) it is all about being with family and friends. There are people of all ages including kids, and even some dogs. But at the end of the day, no matter if you are  running a turkey trot in the city or not, it always has a neighborhood feel.

This Turkey Trot was fun for me because I ran with Lina and….

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P.S. That is NOT a food baby!

Did you run a Turkey Trot? I am always interested in new recipes. What did you make this year?

© 2014 sweatdaily

 

 

 

 

Goodbye October, Hello November!

Halloween has come and went.

And, you probably feel like this right now…

halloween candyBut thats okay, because day light savings time gave us an extra hour of sleep… So now we are well rested and ready to take on November!
Hello-november-images

November is here, and I am excited. It is probably my favorite months. 

These are my top 3 reasons why I heart November and my November goals…

 

1.    I love November because it is so damn colorful!

On the first day of November, my husband and I left the city to spend some time in the country. The fun thing about living in the DC area is that you only have to drive 90 minutes out and you hit beautiful country roads. Virginia is also very historical! Lots of history are among these country roads.

fall leaves country roads2.   Another reason, I love November is because it is so damn tasty.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. And this November I will be doing lots of cooking. I want to come up with some fabulous new additions to our traditional Thanksgiving. So be prepared for lots of food posts.

3.   And the final reason, I love November is because it is the perfect month to run. 

I wake up every morning with a strong desire to hit the trail. There is only a short time that the leaves are this colorful and I don’t want to miss it. Plus, soon it will be really cold and I’ll have to pull out my winter running gear. So these are the last weeks where the weather will be perfect for running. Also, I must run, to counter act all of the cooking, food testing, eating, tasting I will be doing in order to find the prefect Thanksgiving addition. So I will be participating in Pile on the Miles. (More on that later.)

NYC MARATHONAlso CONGRATS to everyone who ran the NYC Marathon! You guys rocked it out!

What is your favorite thing about November? What dishes are you eating this Thanksgiving? Are you going to pile on the miles?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

Turkey Trot and Pies…

“My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, and my favorite part is the Turkey Trot.”

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday for so many reasons. Although, I have heard from others, it can be stressful, for me everything about it is relaxing.

After a really busy month at the salon – coming in early, staying late, and squeezing clients in… I finally get to leave work early on Wednesday- Thanksgiving Eve, and ¬†stay home, Thursday- Thanksgiving day. The best part is I don’t have to return to the chaos of Holiday Season at the salon, until Sunday. A couple of relaxing days off is just what I need, to rest, get refocused, and organized.

Some people get stressed over cooking a huge feast. The cost, the work, the clean up, but I love it. Cooking my own food, relaxes me. I am able to get creative, and stay in complete control. It is fun for me to discover new recipes, that are healthier alternatives then the traditional ones. All of my thanksgiving dishes and sister’s dishes, this year were organic, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, raw. Together we dominated the feast with healthy flavorful dishes.

You don’t have to have an unhealthy holiday. They say the average person consumes over 4,000 calories on thanksgiving. No wonder everyone is sleepy! Blame it on the turkey, but it is really your body trying to digest everything. You don’t have to indulge in that many calories, if you don’t want too. But if you do want to, don’t feel bad, it is a holiday – you can get back on track tomorrow. Just be happy with your choice. If you cook your own food, you can control everything.

A quick tip:  for this holiday season research some new dishes to try. By cooking yourself instead, of ordering out, you have the control of all of your ingredients. You then know exactly what you are eating.

This year I contributed quite a few dishes to my family’s feast.

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I decided I was going to make stuffing from scratch. So I made it from a whole wheat loaf, with rosemary from my garden. I also added, figs, cranberries, Tawny Port, and topped it off with hazel nuts.

In my family, we always have a couple appetizers so we can munch on something while the rest of the food finishes up. The bottom left photo are the two dips I made. One is roasted beet and lentil dip, the other one is Scott Jurek’s Salsa Verde. Both are vegan and gluten free.

I also made three pies. The bottom right photo are the two pumpkin pies I made. However, this year was fun because we ended up with a total of five pies. Two were pumpkin (raw, vegetarian.) Heather brought the fabulous pecan (gluten free, vegetarian.) I made my specialty date pie, (raw, vegan, gluten free.) Jackie made her famous grasshoper, which was not healthy, but a tradition in my family, so we all ate it anyway. Everything was delicious.

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People get so worked up and forget the true meaning of the holidays. Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful and share great food with family and friends. However, Thanksgiving, for me because I am a runner, also means Turkey Trot time.

The traditional Turkey Trot I usually participate in on Thanksgiving morning is the DC 5k put on by an organization called SOME (So Others May Eat.) Normally 11,000 people run it every year. There is a DJ at the start.  The route circles around the Capital.

However, this year, I decided to run the Alexandria Turkey Trot. This Turkey Trot is a 5 miler instead of a 5k. It also is a little closer to my house. I thought it would be nice to run a little further, and drive a little less. It also started at 9:00 AM, which is late for a race, but more sleep in the morning for me.

On Thanksgiving Eve, I went to the local school to pick up my bib and t-shirt. E was going to run this race with me, so I grabbed E’s bib too.

Thanksgiving morning was a cold one. It was around 30 degrees. So E and I bundled up. Other friends that were planning on running the race, bailed on us last minute because of the cold. E was really nervous about the cold, but we have run really cold races before, and I know that in the right running cold gear we would warm up quick. I have worn this hat, coat, and scarf snowboarding before, so I knew it would do the job, and keep me toasty.¬†1452077_10101469313900216_915473531_nTurkey Trots are fun because just like the Thanksgiving holiday, they too are relaxing. It’s a 5 mile turkey trot, and although, I am competitive person, I think of this as just a fun run.

There were hardly any other runners out and about, because a lot of the running community on Thanksgiving is doing some sort of Turkey Trot. I love it when the running community gets together. I also love seeing non runners and kids getting out there running. I saw Facebook statuses in which people claimed the Turkey Trot they ran yesterday was their first race. It is fun races like Turkey Trots that can help one find a passion for running. Maybe someone runs a Turkey Trot, then they love it so much, they sign up for another type of race. Then a new runner is born.

I love running! And running a Turkey Trot is my favorite part of my Thanksgiving celebration – It gets me in the spirit. Running in the morning, getting my work out in, and then filling my belly with amazing food, with great friends and family equals a perfect Thanksgiving!!

Do you run a Turkey Trot? Do you make any vegan or gluten free dishes on Thanksgiving?

© 2013 sweatdaily