Dec 212015

Hi friends! Wow, I had a fun weekend. Did you? It sure went fast though! Here are some highlights.


My office had a holiday lunch combined with a secret santa gift exchange on Friday, and we all got to go home afterword and spend the afternoon finishing up Christmas shopping, holiday baking, or whatever we needed to do. Sweet!

Our lunch was held at Silver in Bethesda, a cute American restaurant with a nice farm-to-table philosophy. Check out all the farms they work with!


Our table wound up sharing a few appetizers including hummus and flatbread, wings, and brussels sprouts. Yum!


For my entree, I chose the warm roasted local veggie salad with salmon. It was so delicious, and I had a hard time putting my fork down once I got full.


All in all, everything we had at Silver was great, and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a nice place to eat in Bethesda!

I spent the rest of the afternoon getting some chores done around the house, and then later in the evening Fabio and I joined Anne and her husband Matt at Penn Social for a holiday party with our favorite gym, Urban Athletic Club!


It was so nice to spend some time with Anne in something other than workout clothes! I think that’s only happened one other time in the year or two since we’ve been friends. Crazy! It was nice to have the boys with us as well; they’ve met a couple of times and get along really well. So fun!

I also really enjoyed getting to talk to Graham – the owner of UAC who ran us through that tough workout last week – candidly about what we are loving about the gym and what we think could use some improvement. It’s nice to know that he values our opinions!


After playing a few rounds of shuffleboard – and getting our butts kicked by Anne and Matt – we called it a night. What a fun Friday!


First thing Saturday morning, I drove over to Tyson’s Corner for a family shopping trip! This year for Christmas, my mom took my stepsister and I each shopping for whatever we wanted (within a specified budget, of course). Considering we are leaving for Jamaica in six days (!!) we both got new dresses to wear on our trip. Thanks, mom!!


When we were done shopping, we all sat down to lunch at Legal Seafoods, one of our favorite spots. I <3 their bread.


I ordered a pot of mussels, which were pretty good but not totally amazing. The bread soaked in that sauce though? Ok, that was amazing.


After lunch, I drove over to Germantown for an afternoon of gingerbread-house-making with Bianca and Hana, two of my best friends from home (we missed you Sam!).


This is the fifth year we’ve all made houses together, and I’m happy our tradition is still going strong. Plus, we’ve accumulated quite a bit of candy over the years. Check out the spread!


After snacking on a veggie tray and sipping some sangria that Hana had made, it was time to get started!


Hana went all-out on her house this year, thanks to some inspiration from Pinterest. Her roof wound up being a little too heavy for the walls, so we got creative with some celery to make some temporary support pillars. 😉

It actually worked really well, and helped her roof stay in place while the icing dried. Success!

All finished! Can you guess which one is mine?


The one with a separate house for Jack, of course!


I even “drew” him on with icing on the back. 🙂


Such a fun Saturday with friends!



Sunday was little more relaxing, and I slept in (until like 8 – I can’t sleep in much later these days!) before meal planning and hitting up the grocery store.

Then the afternoon was filled with lots of baking! I bought these cute little holiday treat bags to fill with homemade cookies and candies for our coworkers. (Fabio requested a bag for himself too. Haha!)


Each bag included two sugar cookies (this recipe)…


One chocolate chunk cookie (unpictured – whoops – this recipe), and two homemade caramels!


The caramels are my mom’s recipe, and they always remind me of being so excited for Christmas and snacking on caramels while watching the Grinch. This was my first time making them, and I think they turned out great! Let me know if you’re interested in the recipe and I’ll share it – it’s not healthy at all but it sure is delicious!

Question of the day: Do you think Jack will eat my gingerbread house while I’m at work? Yes or no? 😉

 Posted by on December 21, 2015