Hi there, friends! How are you doing today? I hope you had a fantastic holiday and are gearing up for any New Year’s celebrations you may have in the works for the upcoming weekend.
It was so nice to spend some extended time at home and to be fully surrounded by my family and friends this Christmas season. The festivities kicked off on Friday for one of my longtime close friend’s son’s 1st birthday party. They live in North Carolina so we don’t get to see each other as often as we’d hope, but any chance we do have to get together is always a great time!
On Christmas Eve, our family gathers at my Aunt Jean’s for one big celebration. I’m talking 40+ people! Our traditions include lots of snackin’ foods, big platters of Italian Christmas cookies, a birthday celebration for my nephew,
singing shouting the 12 Days of Christmas, and a whirlwind of gift exchanging.
Christmas morning is typically much more low-key and is spent with my mom, dad and sister, Allie. This year, we eased into the morning enjoying mimosas and a breakfast of bacon, fruit, and an orange zest pecan french toast bake (It was amazing! Link to recipe here).
We then exchanged gifts and spent the day lounging in our PJ’s until we started getting ready for more family to come over. This year was extra special because Kevin was able to make the trip to Syracuse and spend the day with my family and I. I feel so, so blessed. I really couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas!
Unfortunately I wasn’t great about snapping many pictures this holiday. I will however leave you with the two that I did capture:
Our delicious breakfast spread:
The doodle in her bow:
By Monday morning I was feeling a bit blob-like after a few too many Christmas cookies and various yummy snacks that only seem to pop up around the holidays. I had decided to scratch any plans for workouts while at home because sometimes a little break is just what your body needs!
Thanks to that extra recovery time and surplus of calories (ha!), I knew I was ready to really push myself during my workout.
This morning’s routine looked a little somethin’ like this:
- Bike. 30 minutes, moderate climb. I got a good sweat going and spent this time also researching “must-do’s” in Boston! Woop woop!
- Tabata sprints. 20 seconds sprinting and 10 seconds rest. 10 rounds total.
- Set your treadmill to your sprinting speed (aim for 8-10 mph) while you stand on the side boards.
- Make sure to hold on to the side rails as you jump on the treadmill and let your legs adjust to the pace before letting go.
- Sprint 20 seconds.
- Jump to the side boards (again while holding on) and rest for 10 seconds.
- Repeat for a total of 10 rounds for a heart-pumping cardio blast!
- Ab circuit. Complete 4 rounds. Demos of the exercises are linked 🙂
I was able to make my way through this workout at a quick pace thanks to the short, yet insanely effective tabata intervals. Going forward, I can see these definitely becoming a staple in my cardio routine!
My Go-To Smoothie
After working up quite the sweat at the gym, I was craving something quick, healthy and refreshing before heading in to work. My go-to smoothie is a banana and blueberry blend that doesn’t require many ingredients and insanely easy to make!
- 1 banana (the riper the better!)
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
- Enough almond milk to get things movin’!
Place banana, blueberries and greek yogurt in blender. Add in a few splashes of almond milk (err on the side of too little – you can always add more).
Blend well until smooth; adding more almond milk as needed to reach desired consistency.
Slurp away & enjoy!
And that will conclude today’s blog post. 🙂 I am going to finish up some last minute packing because Kevin and I are heading to Boston tomorrow!! We will be there to ring in the New Year so before I leave you, I want to wish you a very happy and healthy end to 2016!!
Happy New Year!