Holiday Gatherings

Merry Christmas Eve!

What a fun weekend with friends! On Saturday, I met up with fellow bloggers Ashley, Kelly, Dawn and Hilary for lunch and a Secret Santa gift exchange!

I have known Ashley for quite a while now, but had met the other three for the first time at Fitbloggin’ back in September. We all hit it off that weekend and planned to get together soon, so we finally did! Ashley was wonderful to organize everything and used Elfster to keep our gift exchange a true secret (it draws everyone’s names and no one knows who anyone else has).

I drove down to Ashley’s house and then we rode to Alexandria together to meet up with the rest of the gals. It was so great to finally meet her adorable puppy Theo and to have the extra time together in the car to chat. We met the other girls at Rustico and gabbed over some delicious food. Hilary, Ashley, Dawn and I all live in the DC Metro area, but Kelly lives out in Colorado (I got to see her when I was there last month!). Luckily, she had made plans to visit family that lives in the area and squeezed in some time to see us!

Kelly and Hilary

Me and Ashley (sparkle sisters!)

The food was pretty darn good. Especially this carrot hummus (I must learn to make this asap!)

My bibb lettuce salad- pretty impressive presentation, huh?

After lots of talking and eating, it was finally time to exchange gifts! I had been assigned Ashley’s name, which I was stoked about! Since I know her so well, it was pretty easy to pick things out. Kelly had my name, and she knitted (!!) me this gorgeous infinity scarf.

I LOVE IT. I want to wear it every single day. Even over my trainer uniform at the gym.

We eventually parted ways, which was sad, because I could have talked to these gorgeous, amazing women forever. (Don’t you love those friends that you never seem to run out of stuff to talk about?!) But, at least I had Ashley to chat with the whole way back home. :) It was so great to see everyone and I hope we get together again soon!


On Sunday, we had a small gathering of friends over at our house and set up a taco bar.

This ended up being such a great idea. It was simple to prepare everything, and really, who doesn’t like tacos? The taco meat was some grass-fed beef from a local farm, onions and mushrooms cooked in the Crock Pot with some taco seasoning. For toppings, there were various chopped up vegetables, homemade guacamole and black bean dip, pico de gallo, various salsas, and brown rice.

Sara brought a delicious fruit salad of pineapple, papaya, mango and coconut (ahh, no pictures!) and we also had several varieties of great beer. Just about every person in attendance is a beer snob, so that was a high priority (obviously).

I also made some Vanilla Maple cupcakes using Chobani Vanilla yogurt, maple syrup and coconut flour (and other ingredients). They were super dense, but tasted pretty darn good!

I made name tags for the cups with various Christmas movie characters on them. (I had Bad Santa on mine!)

Me and my lovely friend Michelle:

Being that it was Sunday, we watched some football.

Even though they root for the Redskins and Steelers, Rob and Amy are still okay in my book.

Kim and Brad were ready to pose.

Kim has the cutest baby bump. And she’s due in less than a month! She and Sara take my Bodypump class on Wednesday nights- I love seeing them there!

We had a great afternoon with everyone, and it was even better to see my Ravens finally play well!

One more day until Christmas… I need to finish shopping!

How was your weekend? Did you go to any holiday parties?

It’s the last day to enter the KIND holiday giveaway- remember, there will be TWO winners!


  1. You’re right–the infinity scarf is beautiful–love the color! So cozy–I’d never want to take it off. Good luck with the rest of your shopping!

  2. This looks like so much fun. I need to set up something like this for our Ames bloggers or at least the central Iowa area HLBloggers. :)

    that scarf is gorgeous, just like you! love the sequin tops, btw. I need to meet Ashley IRL.

  3. Love the sparkle tops…and that scarf! The fact that she knitted it herself is amazing. I tried to learn to knit once, it didn’t go well!

    I don’t really pay much attention to football at all, but I have to tell you, I am a Redskins fan!

  4. I LOVE your sparkle top!!! <3

  5. ohhhhhhhhhhhhh there that scarf is again! i need to pay her to make me one.. haha. happy holidays! love you!

  6. I want to wear that scarf every single day, too.

    Taco bar = AMAZING idea. I wish I could have been there! You are the cutest hostess. I love the labeled cups. :)

  7. Taco Bar?? I’m in love. I always say if I ever get married I’m demanding that we have a taco bar or nacho bar, it’s kinda my dream.

    I also love the characters on the cup. I haven’t seen Bad Santa in awhile but whenever I think of that movie all I can hear is “You ain’t gonna s**t right for weeks”

  8. Do you think Kelly would give you the pattern or tell us were we can find it so I can knit myself one… it looks awesome!


  1. [...] I get to spend my afternoon hanging out with my wonderful friend Ashley down in DC- I haven’t seen her since December! The only thing that I’m still kind of having a rough time with is adapting to daylight [...]

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