Showing posts with label holidays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holidays. Show all posts

Monday, November 30, 2020

A Real Hawaiian Christmas Tree

This year we treated ourselves to a real live Hawaiian Christmas tree!

We have been living abroad since April of 2015 and every Christmas we have decorated. Apartment living, especially in Asia, means small spaces. Small spaces = small decorations. Like most things, we have made the most of it. 

Here's a look at some of our Christmas decorations over the years...

Shenzhen, China 2015 - hand-me-downs from another expat on her way out of Shenzhen. 

Hong Kong 2016 - a little upgrade with the added poinsettia!

Hong Kong 2017 - upgraded our tree to a mini live branch, haha. We had a lot of presents because Grant and Georgia were both visiting that year. I don't remember where the green light came from??

Hong Kong 2018 - Not sure this is an upgrade since it's fake, but it did have lights. I bought this tree from someone who was leaving Discovery Bay and posted in the neighborhood "things for sale" group. The upgrade would definitely be the two new ornaments from Devan and Georgia (which were too heavy for our tiny tree, haha).

Kailua 2019 - another pre-lit tiny tabletop tree, but we upgraded to also hanging lights on the lanai. I always loved having lights on the house at Christmastime.

Kailua 2020 - Meet Norton, our Norfolk pine from Helemano Farms in Wahiawa. 

The day before Thanksgiving, we drove about 35 minutes from Kailua to Wahiawa. With COVID social distancing and regulations, we planned to be first in line when they opened so we could get in and out. We were second.

Helemano Farm had lots of trees. Fields and fields of baby trees not ready to be cut yet. The views with the mountains in the distance were stunning.

We wanted to find our perfect tree, so our guide led us past the pre-cut trees to the field where the mature trees were growing. 

We were told to look for the trees with the white tags - which meant they were 6 feet tall. The tags were in the middle of the tree, which was actually the bottom of what would be cut. We would be taking home the top.

After picking the best looking tree around, Daniel took about 5 seconds to cut it down. Then he carried it off to be wrapped and tied it to the top of our car. That's when we learned that we were his very first customers on his very first day! 

After stopping for lunch in Haleiwa on the North Shore, we finally got Norton home and unwrapped. Chris had to trim him a bit and wrap the base to make it fat enough to fit in the stand. Then we crossed our fingers that he would perk up and stand tall.

A few days later, I had picked up some real decorations (although still small because Norton is a delicate guy) and got to decorating. Fortunately Target, which is right around the corner from our apartment, had just what we needed for our little Hawaiian tree.

We also upgraded the lights on our lanai. I found some awesome solar lights on Amazon. They charge all day and come on as soon as it is dark enough. 

I am loving our tree and decorations this year.

How do you do Christmas?

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

How to Avoid the Holiday 15

This is the time of year that a lot of people look forward to. All of the end of the year holidays...Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s. People are getting together with family and friends, having all the yummy foods and treats and drinks and dealing with stress.

Wait, what?

The end of the year holidays stress a lot of people out because they are worried about over-eating, over-indulging and gaining weight! The reality is, most people will over-indulge and over-eat during the holidays and see some weight gain.

It doesn't have to be that way!

Here are my tips to avoid gaining the Holiday 15:

1. Drink lots of water - doing this fills your belly up and reduces the chance that you'll confuse the hydration signal and the hunger signal.

2. Start your day with some exercise - go for a walk, do a 20 minute elliptical, do anything that gets you moving. This will set you up to continue making healthy choices throughout the day (don’t want that workout to go to waste, right?)

3. Don’t accept any leftovers. Seriously! No matter how good it was or if it’s your aunt’s most amazing and delicious cheese ball…leave it behind. Out of sight, out of mind. You can’t overeat food that you don’t have, am I right?

4. Try intermittent fasting - try eating during a set window of time, say 8 or 10 hours. Not only will this kick start your body’s own natural fat burning process, but people who do intermittent fasting tend to eat less during their set eating window.

5. Finally, if you really want to head into the holidays without a worry in the world when it comes to eating and not eating, join my next round FASTer Way to Fat Loss® online bootcamp. I will equip you with the strategies you need to enjoy all the holiday food and treats and instead of gaining a Holiday 15, you could be on your way to losing a Holiday 15!

To sign up for my next round or check out what it’s all about -> click here

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Fitness Shopping Deals 2014

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I hope you are enjoying the day exactly the way that you want to. We are snowed in a little here in New Hampshire, but we're enjoying our adventure. 

I know for many of you shopping after Thanksgiving is a BIG thing. LittleC is going with a friend at midnight! Not me. No thank you.

Nowadays, shopping on Black Friday or Cyber Monday requires planning and maybe even a little training if you're thinking about sprinting through the stores to snag that must have fitness gear! I'm all about finding a good bargain and there are a lot of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals being offered by our favorite fitness brands.

Vega Black Friday Sale
Love chocolate peanut butter protein bars!

Banjees wrist wallet is my favorite item!

Love my Foot notes!

Use code GIVETHANKS to get 10% off
your order from Run Far Girl

Happy shopping!

Are you planning to shop Black Friday (tonight) or Cyber Monday?
What do you like about it?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

WIAW: Raspberry Protein Bars

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your family and friends.

It's also #WIAW, so I wanted to share the newest homemade protein bar recipe I tried over the weekend.

I'm really enjoying making my own bars and knowing what exactly goes into them. The recipe is very similar to my Banana Peanut Butter Bars and Blueberry Protein Bars, but I used Sunbutter for the first time.

This recipe only takes about 15 minutes prep time (I'm usually ready to put them in the oven right as the beeper tells me it has pre-heated) and 15 minutes to bake. So just 30 minutes until delicious-ness!

One of the best parts of baking is the removal from the oven. Everything smells so yummy. I flip the baked mixture onto a cutting board and remove the wax paper right away, but then let it cool for a minute or two before I cut it into squares.

After opening presents this morning, we're heading to Massachusetts to spend the holiday with my husband's family. These homemade bars will be a great little snack on the 2.5 hour drive.

Do you have any favorite snacks for when you're traveling?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Fitness Friday: Holiday Workout Plan

Happy Friday!

Today I get to start my Christmas vacation! After finishing up some shopping, present wrapping, and baking, I'm looking forward to spending time with the kids and my husband's family in Massachusetts.

With all that running around, it's easy to lose my fitness focus. My pre-holiday weeks went much better when I had a plan, so I'm taking the same approach with my Christmas break.

After feeling the benefits from cross training during my runs, I've been trying to attend a cardio/strength class at least once a week. With my mornings open over break, I'm taking advantage and heading back to Booty Barre class. Last month I snagged a great deal on Living Social for three classes making it even easier to want to go.

In addition to cross training at the barre, I'll be attempting to complete my RTB team captain's weekly challenge. She is serious about getting us ready to run 200 miles across Massachusetts in May. I love that the challenges encourage us to cross train and strength train in addition to run.

Our latest weekly challenge.

Speaking of running, I'll be lacing up my Mizuno Wave Rider 17s for some more miles. My weekly mileage has been increasing slowly and it is working. My last long run was 6 miles on the treadmill because of our first big snow storm, but I'm hoping to get in another 6 miler outside this weekend.

Another goal I set for myself is to do better pre-run warm-ups, so I put together this drill hoping that my dependence on routine would ensure that I do it before every run.

I also put together a mini Tabata workout of some of my favorite strength moves that I think will be good to do once or twice a week post-run. Even though I'm accustomed to following a schedule, sometimes I'm motivated to do a little more.

How do you stay focused during the holidays or vacation?

Need some extra motivation? Join my Chilly Challenge and you could win a pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 17s of your very own! More details here.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Fitness Friday: Holiday Gifts for Runners

Looking for holiday gift ideas for the runner in your life? I thought I'd put together a simple list of runner items that won't require you to know a lot of details (brand, size, color) and that won't cause you to worry about whether your runner already has one.

Gift Cards - Runners love to shop for new gear. A gift card to the local running store or sporting goods store is great, but there are also awesome online stores for runners, such as Road Runner Sports, and Running Warehouse. There are also specialty stores that runners generally like to shop online such as Lululemon, Oiselle, and Athleta.  

Massage and Spa Visits - Reward your runner for all their training efforts with an hour long massage at her/his favorite masseuse, or treat your runner to a manicure/pedicure at the local spa.

Bling - Bling isn't just about the big medals at the end of the race anymore. Surprise your runner with a pretty necklace or bracelet. You can find some nice selections at Erica Sara Designs, Sporty Girl Jewelry, and some non-traditional safety bling at Road ID

Books - If your runner is also a reader, think about running books. There are books on running, runners, runner's diets, runner's form, running history, and more. Some popular titles include Born to Run, Mile Markers, Going Long, Sole Sisters, The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life, and Train Like a Mother. You pretty much can't go wrong here.

Magazines - Buy a subscription to one (or more) of the popular running magazines so your runner can stay up to date with current trends in gear, get training tips, and read advice from experts. Consider Runner's World and Women's Running

Race Registration - If you know your runner is planning to sign up for a race, gift her/him the registration. Better yet, sign yourself up too and join the fun. You might also consider planning a destination race. I pinned some great ideas here. Just be sure that you are both ready to take on the distance. You can search for races on Active and Cool Running.

Stocking Stuffer Ideas - Some smaller items that would make great gifts or fit in a stocking include running fuel, like GU, Sport Beans, or small bottles of Gatorade, all of which you can easily get at your local running/sporting goods store. All runners need a good water bottle and Simple Hydration is awesome. There are also cute car magnets for runners and you can never have too many socks. And for your female runner, you can't go wrong with a wrist wallet or some Sweaty Bands

Running Shoes - Unless you know exactly what pair, color, and size because your favorite runner has been dropping hints left and right, I would avoid picking out a pair of running shoes. Runners are very picky and want to know what's in this kind of box.

So there you go. A simple runner-friendly gift guide to get you through the holiday season. And remember, it's ok to ask your runner if there is anything she/he is hoping to find gift wrapped this year! 

What's on your holiday wish list?

Don't want to wait for the perfect gift that will keep your ears warm? Enter my Sprigs Earbags Giveaway before it's too late! And don't forget, if you place an order, you can use my coupon code Escapades20 for 10% off of orders up to $29.99 or 20% off orders over $30. It expires 12/12/12 at 11:59 PM EST.