Healthy and Sane

Holiday spirit overdrive

December 5th, 2010 · 18 Comments · Uncategorized

How was everyone’s weekend? I was in holiday spirit overdrive with THREE Christmas themed events in the past 3 days. I know a lot of people are really stressed out during this time, and while my schedule is jam packed, I’m making sure that every event I commit myself to truly brings me joy. Isn’t that the point of the holidays?

Friday night was my very first gingerbread house making party. Obviously I didn’t grow up in this country so it was no surprise that it was my very first time, but strangely enough – all of us were newbies.

Our host: Tiffany


Some gingerbread for snacking and getting us in the mood… Winking smile


Now onto the main event…




Mali and I teamed up on this guy:


Not exactly award winning but I was a proud gingerbread house mama at the end of the night Open-mouthed smile


Tiffany and Emily were cracking us up with their gingerbread house making skilz Rolling on the floor laughing


… but it kind of came together despite Emily using her finger as the icing tool.


Let’s not forget some gingermen…



SO fun! I’m taking it to the next step next year with a door cutout and a chimney. Oh yeah! 😎

Saturday we attended an ugly sweater holiday party. Thank you Target for stocking such ugly attire. I think Adam’s “sweater” t-shirt was the best. Doesn’t he look handsome? Haha





And today, we finally purchased and set up our holiday tree (we had the tree for New Years during my childhood). I wanted to deck out the rest of the house too but I didn’t find too many things that I actually liked. The tree totally makes me happy though… and it smells like the holidays!!


When Adam and I got our very first tree together, we also got a lot of the ornaments and lights. From then on, we’ve been buying 1 new ornament each year. This one jumped into my cart at Target this year Winking smile


And here are my 2 favorites from past years:


This guy is Adam’s favorite Smile


I just love the holidays!! What about you? What’s your favorite part of this time of the year? Do you overcommit yourself? Are you an intense cookie baker? I know a few of you are… I’ve seen the proof on your blogs Winking smile 

PS – The only thing that stresses me out during the holidays is potential weight gain. I gain weight every single holiday season and in fact, was never able to lose the weight I gained in December 2009 (and even added a few more during 2010). I think maintaining a balance of healthy eats with some treats is the best way to stay healthy and sane during the holiday season (well, always really, but this really gets tested on a whole new level during the time). The other key to the puzzle, of course, is to continue your fitness routine. Exercise is extremely important to me (I just don’t feel right when I take too many off) yet my motivation is sometimes less than stellar. So when I was contacted about a new motivational fitness program, Gym Pact, I thought it was absolutely brilliant! It’s a new experiment that they’re trying out in Boston. You can sign up for a free gym membership at Planet Fitness through Gym Pact if you pledge to attend at least 4 times a week. More details are available on their site, but basically you have to pay for any missed days but if you’re able to keep going at least 4 times a week, your membership is 100% free. I think money is one of the best motivators, isn’t it? I wish I lived/worked close to Planet Fitness because I would be ALL about this challenge. I haven’t worked out 4 times/week in at least a month, if not more, but I really do want to. Ick Disappointed smile So yeah, I think it’s a great idea and all of you Boston readers should take advantage of it. Smile More about my recent fitness discoveries in a separate post… I’m adding a few new things into my routine.

All right, I’m off to blog about dinner at Russian Bites. See you tomorrow Open-mouthed smile

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18 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Lauren

    What a fantastic incentive to sign up for a Planet Fitness membership!

    I love everything about the holiday season – seeing friends and family, listening to holiday music, decorating the apartment (although I’m with you – I haven’t found many decorations that fit my aesthetic, which leans towards natural and rustic), baking and cooking holiday treats, and even the weather. Christmas just wouldn’t be the same in a warm climate!

  • #2 - Di

    I wish they were including the PF that I belong to…I have to renew my membership in January! It looks like they’re just doing the Boston locations though. Bummer!

    I love the ornaments you guys have gotten, they’re too cute.

  • #3 - MelissaNibbles

    The gingerbread party looks like fun.
    The gym pact sounds like a good idea. If only I could get out of my current gym contract…

  • #4 - Joanne

    I totally vote that we make some kind of group commitment to really trying to lose or at least maintain rather than gain this holiday season. I know that I at least really need to get my butt in gear.

    Sounds like you’ve been doing a ton of fun Christmas things! I’ve always wanted to decorate a gingerbread house! So cute.

    I emailed you about your trip! Exciting!

  • #5 - Stephanie @cookinfanatic

    we have a tacky sweater party to go to this weekend and i need to find a sweater asap! guess i’ll be checking target :)

  • #6 - Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic

    Your Christmas tree looks beautiful! Money is definitely a good incentive. I too don’t get to work out as much as I want to during the holidays, but when I do, I go all out! Oh and I’m definitely an intense cookie baker during the holidays 😉

  • #7 - Corey @ the runner's cookie

    I love the sweater t-shirt – so funny!
    I don’t over commit during the holidays…I focus on spending time with family and close friends, baking lots of cookies, and being thankful.
    Definitely important for me to keep exercising so that I don’t feel so off from all the cookies I’m eating 😉 It helps that I’m starting a marathon training program next week!
    Glad you are kicking off the holiday season with lots of fun!

  • #8 - Lauren at KeepItSweet

    what a fun weekend! we don’t have too many holiday parties this year but i do love the festivities and the mood of everyone during this month!

  • #9 - Jessy

    Wow, those parties sound so cool! I wish we had something like this here, I’ve actually never been to such a themed party before. Also, being part of a sorority seems awesome. :)

    My favourite part of this time of the year are the holidays and the whole festive spirit, and of course the school break that comes with the holidays, hee. 😉 It also means spending time home with my family, which can be really nice.
    I actually have never been a baker/cooker, but when I recently discovered the whole foodie/health blogging community I’ve become super interested in cooking and I’ll definitely bake something these holidays. Although, on the other hand I’m not sure it’s such a great idea, because I don’t know if I’ll be able to resist eating all the sweets, lol.

  • #10 - Cat

    Those gingerbread hosues look so good! Was the gingerbread homemade or from a kit?

    • #11 - Elina

      Cat – homemade of course! Here is a really great resource if you’re thinking of making some :)

  • #12 - Diana @ frontyardfoodie

    Hey, I used to always hate how the holidays put on pounds and now I just do a cleanse at the beginning of January. It helps so much!

  • #13 - Shannon

    awwww, so fun! love the ornaments, tree, gingerbread making, UGLY sweaters… perfect :)

  • #14 - sassy molassy

    Elina, I love those cookie cutters! They are adorable. I made gingermen last night. They are so delish. If only they didn’t have so much damn butter in them. 😉 Love the husband’s “sweater” too.

  • #15 - jessica

    Cute gingerbread houses! I’ve only made one in my life and it was for a contest a school so it was huge and way over-the-top! I love your tree by the way :-)
    I think one way to avoid holiday weight gain is to not worry about it. I know for me if I think about all the foods I shouldn’t have I only want them more but focusing on having fun with friends and family takes my mind off food

  • #16 - Bridget

    Ugly sweater parties are the best! I love making gingerbread houses too, we sometimes do that with the in-laws and family.
    We are decorating our tree right now :)
    I hear you about the fear of holiday weight gain, I’m already feeling like there are sweets and treats everywhere!

    I got my tart pan at William Sonoma a few yaers ago, but I bet they still carry them :)

  • #17 - Tracy

    I really hope Adam got some sort of prize for his garb, a sweater t-shirt that resembles a cardigan over a shirt with necktie? and a faux Peter Pan collar, no less? That deserves some serious applause ..

  • #18 - alicia

    I’ve never made gingerbread houses either! Yours came out cute! I try not to overbook myself during the holidays so I can just soak in the spirit and enjoy myself. This year moving/new job is a little added stress, but I’m letting myself take it easy!