Getting Pumped for Christmas

After a series of bad days, I woke up yesterday in a really good mood. I didn’t get much sleep and nothing was all that different but for some reason I felt okay with the world. I’ll take it. Before continuing this post, I have to give a shout out to a lovely lady named Angie!

This would be one of my three younger sisters and it was her birthday yesterday! She turned FIFTEEN. Someone needs to stop getting older or I’m going to cry.

This is a picture of us from over the summer. I miss her terribly but lucky for me, I go home for Christmas in three weeks!

I bought her The Perks of Being a Wallflower and she opened it on the phone with me. I saw the movie a couple weeks back and never read the book growing up. Angie and I have very similar tastes in books and entertainment and I had this hunch she would not only like the movie, but enjoy the book. So I ordered a copy for me and one for her so we can read them simultaneously (it’s a small way to feel closer when we’re so far away).

Anyways, when I got to work I felt energized and ready to be wicked productive. Maybe it was the delicious pumpkin oatmeal I had for breakfast… oatmeal on cold mornings is always perfect. And even though I was already in a cheerful mood at work, my mood got better because they put up the holiday decorations yesterday!

I’ve decorated this tree before as an intern! So fun.

My work really is a pretty place!

After work I was feeling that late afternoon slump. On my walk home I was thinking, oh man- I have to go home and then walk to the gym in this cold weather? really? But I couldn’t help but smile when I got to my apartment building because as I gave you a preview the other day, it looks like Christmas exploded in our lobby.

It actually is a wonderful sight to come home to everyday now.

While waiting to pick up a package at the front desk I snapped some more pictures.

So many decorations. It’s crazy.

I knew I didn’t have too much time to chill in the lobby taking pictures because I had to get ready to haul my butt to the gym. Despite the fact that it was cold outside and I didn’t want to layer up, I was actually pretty excited to go to the gym. I knew I was trying BODY PUMP for the first time with my new found blogger and real life friend Sara.

What is body pump? The Balance Gym website explains:

An original class designed by Les Mills Body Training Systems that is used for strength and endurance training. Using barbells, BODYPUMP has all the benefits of weight training including increased strength, increased metabolism and the ‘feel good’ factor associated with a great total body workout.

I was slightly intimidated but I’ve wanted to get seriously committed to strength training for a while now (my own strength workouts have been kind of lacking). Thank God Sara was there to show me the ropes- otherwise I would have been one lost little girl. There’s a lot of equipment involved!

Halfway through the class I started to really get into it mentally and realized how much fun I was having. I didn’t push myself too hard in terms of weights because I wanted to focus on my form and understanding the class first. I can’t wait to really challenge myself next class. That’s right- next class. I’m already obsessed. The instructor is awesome, the class made me feel good, and I know it’s going to be a good way to make myself strength train in a productive way.

So much new fitness this week! So out of the ordinary for me, miss routine. Monday I “went ice skating,” Tuesday I did Zumba, Body Pump last night?! I love all the new things but I am excited to go to my normal boot camp class tonight and Friday morning.

The only thing on my mind when class ended? GET ME HOME FOR DINNER. I realized I haven’t really posted any recipes lately… that would be because all my meals have revolved more around convenience this week. I’ve been using chicken and salmon that I cooked up and veggies I chopped on Sunday to throw together quick stir fry dishes. It makes me feel like I’m cooking a good, healthy meal but it doesn’t over complicate things with recipes and instructions and all that jazz. I basically just pull out whatever veggies and protein I want to use, choose a couple spices from my spice rack, and go to town.

Last night my counter looked like this:

I wanted something Asian inspired so I grabbed carrots, brussels, broccoli, mushrooms, and snap peas. Plus I chopped up some chicken and garlic. I also had the Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice/Quinoa you see pictured and decided to cook that as well. And of course- my handy soy ginger sauce that I had in the fridge.

I sauteed the chopped garlic in a tbl. of the soy sauce for a little bit and then added all my veggies and cooked chicken. I poured two more tablespoons of soy sauce into the mix.

The brown rice/quinoa only takes 90 sec. to cook so I did that while the stir fry was going. And within ten minutes- dinner was served. Happy girl.

1/2 cup of rice/quinoa plus a chicken Asian inspired stir fry filled with what seemed like all the veggies in the world.

Yesterday’s dinner went through a very similar process. I grabbed the veggies I wanted: green beans, mushrooms, and butternut squash.

Then I raided my spice rack and grabbed random things I thought might taste good together (they did btw).

That veggie stir fry medley plus salmon that I had already prepared made for a quick, easy, and delicious dinner.

Taking a couple hours on Sunday to chop some veggies and cook up sources of protein allows me to throw together super fast meals during the week when I’m hungry and busy.

I watched the tree lighting ceremony on NBC in Rockefeller center while I ate dinner last night. That plus all the Christmas decorations I had seen throughout the day made me want to decorate my apartment more.

I switched our place mats over to olive green ones (ooooo! ahhhh!), set up the Christmas countdown calendar I bought recently (from Starbucks- I couldn’t resist), and put out some other random decor I had.

Starting Saturday I get to open one of these little drawers/doors every day! The box tells me there is a little chocolate in each one (YES!). Each of the four parts has doors on all four sides of the box. It’s fun.

My Aunt Nikki recently sent me the hand decorated frame so I added some seasonal pictures. The first is of my sister and I in Faneuil Hall in Boston (man do we both look different now). The other is one of my favorite pictures of all time- my stepdad and I when I was little outside shoveling the driveway together after a massive storm.

I also busted out my holiday candle! Yankee Candles- why do you smell so good yet cost so much?! Good candles are worth the money to me every once and a while.

Because I’m a huge dork, I printed out ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas programming calendar so I know when which holiday movies are playing!

And the stockings were hung by the bookcase with care…

I really want to buy silver glitter so I can write Will and I’s names on the stockings. Haven’t gotten that far yet. BTW that would be John Malkovich on the television. After the tree lighting ceremony, NBC showed their new Saturday Night Live Christmas compilation which was great. Jimmy Fallon makes my world go round.

I couldn’t quite figure out how to show you through my crappy camera the lights I hung up around the apartment… but I did my best! Sorry for the poor quality…

It took me forever to decide where to hang the lights. Once I start hanging lights, however, I find they always seem to find the perfect space. Unless you’re a complete fool, it’s hard to mess up stringing some lights. I love that ours go into the kitchen 🙂

The picture below was taken from the kitchen. It’s so pretty to see the Christmas lights up against the city lights and the Washington Monument.

I ended up going to bed later than usual just because I was decorating and lost track of time. Worth it? Yes. I’m so much happier now that we have some lights up. I can’t wait to decorate more! I think some hand cut paper snowflakes are in order!

When I went to bed I couldn’t sleep though (wahhhh). The last time I saw the clock it was almost one in the morning which means I’m running on like five hours of sleep. Blah. Hopefully I can catch up on sleep soon. I just know my lack of sleep is going to hit me like a ton of bricks in the very near future. Not looking forward to that…

Until then- coffee and truckin’ along.

Today is my Friday and I am just focusing on the weekend (lots of good stuff planned!) xoxo


8 thoughts on “Getting Pumped for Christmas

  1. Hey Alli! The apartment is looking festive! Something about Christmas lights going up, it just makes the world a better place,not to mention cozy! Glad you like bodypump they offer the same Les Mills body pump classes at my gym too (maybe you’ll want to check it out while you’re home?) Good to talk with you yesterday. Angie loves the book! Love you!

  2. You’re going home to see your family for Christmas. That’s great! However, I wanted to see you and Will do a Christmas spread at your adorable apartment. Your Thanksgiving dinner was fun to read about and food looked so yummy. ( I love my holiday menus.)

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