Monthly Archives: December 2014

Christmas 2014

I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas! I’m back to work today after some time off last week. I had a fantastic holiday with lots of good food, fun trips, and even a few workouts.

The weather certainly did not feel very Christmasy but I have to admit it was pretty cool being able to go for a run on Christmas morning in a Tshirt! We had my parents and their adorable boston terrier over for a  breakfast of eggs and homemade cinnamon rolls before we headed out on a run. In the afternoon we headed downtown to my parent’s condo in the sky for christmas dinner. The weather was so beautiful and the sunset at the end was amazing!

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On Friday we headed down to Boston for a birthday trip. We walked A LOT, like 13 miles in two days. While we were there we did some shopping, had dinner in the North End, drinks at Top of the Hub, and went to the Aquarium. The city was still decorated for Christmas and it was so much fun walking around and looking at the lights!

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We came back up to Portland Saturday evening for a birthday dinner with my parent’s at the Corner Room and then had drinks with one of my good friend’s from high school and her boyfriend. It was a great day!

Sunday was spent working out at the YMCA and picking up our mess of a house. Now it is back to work!


The 12 Hills of Christmas + Other Festivities

Hello everyone! It’s cold, rainy and gray here in Maine and it doesn’t feel like Christmas weather. The festivities keep rolling despite the weather and that really helps. Last weekend I had a cookie swap at my house with some friends. It was my first year having one and it might have to become a holiday tradition. Everyone brought different cookies, then you try a bunch of cookies, and make an assortment of all the cookies to take home with you. It was fun to see what everyone made. Oh, and there was lots of winter sangria as well. 🙂

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Last night I taught this “12 Hills of Christmas” spin workout. I’m teaching again today and will definitely be doing it again. The profile of the ride starts out with some fast sprints before moving on to the hills. Each hill is 1 minute long and they’re all a little bit different (standing, seated, a combo of both). After the climb there’s a fast downhill (aka rest) for 15-20 seconds. Before climbing the next hill we ride on a flat road at a “comfortably hard” pace for about 40 seconds. After the hills there’s another sprinting section. It was a great ride and everyone really enjoyed it! Here is the playlist I used for the ride. Only Christmas songs for warm up and cool down. I can’t recall the last time someone got really motivated to ride fast to “Jingle Bells”….

How to Make a Homemade Christmas Wreath

Here’s a little project to do to get you feeling festive. This year I decided I wanted a wreath but couldn’t believe how expensive they were. 40 dollars? Hmm no thank you. I did some searching online and found out that I could make my own! The project took a little under two hours with two people helping to make the wreath. (Thanks, Angus!)

We ended up buying a tree that was a little bit too big for us, so we cut the branches off the bottom of the tree and then used those to make the wreath.

Things you’ll need:

1. Branches/ parts of a tree

2. Wire wreath form (found at joanne fabrics for under 3 dollars)- pick one on the smaller side if it’s your first time making a wreath.

3. Green wire (found near the wreath making stuff)

4. Wired ribbon for a bow

Step One:

Cut your branches into little pieces and bundle the pieces into groups of three or 4. Tie the ends together with wire.

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Step Two:

Take your little bundles and attach them to the wire form. (Angus made the bundles and I attached them. The form I used had four rings. Attach the bundles on each part. Once you’ve attached the bundles on all four rings, it is time to move on.

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* I wrapped wire around each ring, and then around all four at once, It worked well but you can get sort of creative with how you attach the bundles. The main point is that they need to stay on the form*

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Step Three:

Repeat the attaching of the bundles over again (overlap the previous section) until your wire form has greens all around it and it’s turned into a beautiful wreath!

Step Four:

Trim the edges if there are any stray pieces that look weird, and make a bow. Hang and display!

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Thanksgiving Weekend Fun

I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving! Just like that it’s December. I had a few days off of work for the holiday and managed to pack quite a bit of fitness, food, and fun into my weekend! The snowstorm we received was very unexpected and kept us in Portland for an extra night on Wednesday. It worked out perfectly though because we ended up getting to see some of my family that we would not have seen otherwise. I got out for a trail run with my friend and before we even finished it started snowing. Then I spent the rest of the afternoon baking pies. On Thursday morning I woke up to this beautiful winter wonderland!

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We headed to Orono on Thursday to visit with Angus’ family for a few days. We had a few wonderful dinners, went for a snowy trail run, sledding, many walks and a snowshoe. We really wish we had brought our skis!


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We came back to Portland Saturday afternoon and went to a park to watch the sunset, did some shopping in the old port, enjoyed drinks at the Top of the East Lounge, and then went out to dinner at the Corner Room.

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On Sunday we went to the gym in the morning, then got our Christmas tree and made a homemade wreath. (I’ll post directions on how to make one this week!) In the evening we had another thanksgiving dinner with my parents! I think we’ll be eating turkey for a week 🙂

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