Happy holla days

Hi friends! How was your weekend? Hope you had a wonderful one, and that those who celebrated Christmas enjoyed a beautiful holiday.

O christmas tree

Ours was a little non-traditional this year, but was still an awesome weekend. We’re usually in Tucson or visiting the Pilot’s side of the family, but we stayed here in San Diego to keep an eye on little P’s reflux. (After an upswing, we had some regression and on the whole, it’s about to same. Back to the ped again this week.) We used the opportunity to create some new traditions and also had a festive holiday dinner at our house with friends and cousins.

Kiddos

Ps first christmas

Dogs

Livi the elf

Christmas Eve, the Pilot and I got in short workouts at the gym before starting on the last-minute to-dos.

Spin bike

Our friend works in childcare and knows P well, so I felt comfortable with it (and told her to come get us if she needed anything), but P slept the whole time! We took the girls to play at the park, did some party prep, and drove down Garrison and around Point Loma to check out the lights.

Ob tree at night

That evening, it was wrapping extravaganza. Our family sent beautifully-wrapped packages, and I had used them to hide our stack of Amazon boxes. I finally unearthed them on Christmas Eve, and started getting things together while the Pilot assembled a pretty purple bike. We drank wine and listened to Michael Buble Christmas on Pandora before calling it a night at 12:30.

Elves at work

Christmas setup

The next morning, Liv was so excited to come out and see what Santa had brought. She was all aboard the Christmas train this year, and couldn’t wait to see if the reindeer had eaten the carrots we left out for them. We spent the morning eating cinnamon rolls (the best!), opening gifts, and calling the family before taking Liv out for a spin on her new bike. 

Christmas afternoon, Betsy and her family came over, along with our cousins Ashley and Chris + their two dogs.

It was my first time making a whole turkey for the feast. You can imagine my panic when I went to Sprouts on Christmas Eve for turkey breast, and circled the poultry section in a cold sweat upon discovering that they only had entire turkeys. I texted my bro Kyle the chef to save the day, because he makes the best turkey I’ve had in my life.

I gathered up the ingredients, and started the pot on the stove to heat the brine before adding the turkey.

Turkey rookie

Not even 5 minutes after posting the above photo on Instagram, I received panicked text messages from Kyle.

Turkey fail

Apparently you’re not supposed to heat the turkey in the brine hahaha. [For my fellow noobs, you heat the brine, let it cool, add the turkey, and let everything chill in the fridge overnight.] I told my mom about it and she seriously started laughing at me. Let’s not even talk about the fact that I left a bag of turkey parts within the turkey. (I dug the neck out but that’s where it ended.)

The conclusion of the story: the turkey still turned out pretty well! I credit it to Kyle’s amazing recipe: brined in citrus, beer, garlic, bay leaves, scallions, peppercorn, with lots of salt, and sugar. After brining, I roasted the turkey atop chopped carrots, onion and celery; stuffed with oranges, thyme, rosemary, sage, and garlic; and finally topped with lots of butter, salt and pepper.

Brine

I’m also thankful for Betsy’s carving skills.

Turkey

She also made a killer gravy on the stovetop.

Bets making gravy

We enjoyed artichoke dip, chips and salsa, said turkey with gravy and cranberry sauce, mulled wine, eggnog, salad with candied pecans and homemade balsamic dressing + mashed sweet potatoes. Also #allthesweets.

The rest of the weekend was spent with many bike-riding excursions,

Riding her bike

(Livi loves her new wheels!)

taking down decorations, and my first barre class back in the game. I start teaching NEXT WEEK so I figured I should take at least one class beforehand. I skipped the core section at the end, but other than that, everything felt great. It feels so amazing to move again!

Saturday night also involved some of this. 

La mer

After putting Livi to bed and the Pilot was hanging out with P, I bounced over to Betsy’s for face masks, movies and popcorn. It was everything.

This morning, I’m off to the doc’s, and going for a walk with the kiddos.

Hope you have a great day! I’ll see ya later this afternoon.

xoxo

Gina

Something to do: this bootcamp workout! No equipment and a fast way to work up an awesome sweat.

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Comments

  1. HAHA! I would have totally done the same thing with the turkey. I usually buy the turkey breasts because I am squeamish when it comes to the cleaning, removing the insides, carving etc. I would be a vegetarian if it were not for boneless meat.

    • Fitnessista says:

      seriously. i think liv is destined to be a vegetarian. she was like “mom, that looks like a real turkey.” “it is a real turkey.” “ew, why are we eating it?”

  2. Gina – the turkey story is fantastic! Brining a whole bird can be quite a task. I had to buy a 5-gallon bucket at Home Depot for the Tgiving turkey last year.

    We had a quiet Christmas too. Different but good.

    Livi is the cutest. Love that purple bike.

    • Fitnessista says:

      happy to hear you had a good christmas <3 it's weird when it's a little quieter than usual, but i keep telling myself that we'll remember this one. the bows in your pup's hair were amazing 🙂 next time we're on that side of the world, i want to take your yoga class!
      xoxo

  3. GIGGLING over your turkey story 🙂 There are so many things like that in life, I think—where things are just *assumed* so no one ever explicitly tells us about them!

    Mr. Science spent quite a few years as a cook so carving up the turkey is his specialty. It’s really cool to watch a pro do it!

  4. Oh my gosh that’s too funny about the Turkey! Is this the first time ever we can say thank goodness for instagram???? This is why I ALWAYS put the hubby in charge of the turkey ha ha

  5. Hi – I’m sorry P is still having such a hard time with the reflux. That must be so stressful for you. Out of curiosity, did they explain why they won’t do any allergy testing until after she’s one? My little guy has a dairy protein allergy, which we suspected – and then confirmed – when he was about 8 months. If you think it could be at all allergy related, I’d push to see if they can do it earlier (or just call a family allergist on your own, if you haven’t) – I have lots of friends who have kids with food allergies, and I don’t remember any of them having to wait until a year. (Sorry for unsolicited question/comment – it just sounds really awful and stressful for all of you!)

    • Seconding this comment. My son has several allergies which we learned about through blood tests when he was 9 months old (post anaphylactic reaction to peanut butter). Not sure why they want you to wait till the one year mark but it was hugely helpful for me to know since his reflux and eczema cleared up once I stopped eating the things he was allergic to (that he was getting via my breastmilk).
      You’re a champ for dealing w this – allergies are the hardest and nobody gets it. Huge hugs to you during this stressful time.
      Also if you have any Qs I feel like I know way too much about allergy stuff now and would love to help in any way.

      • Fitnessista says:

        that makes me happy to hear. i will definitely push for testing. i’ve been really nervous about eventually introducing solids, so i think that will help immensely
        i’m saving your email address now, too. thank you- i really appreciate it

    • Fitnessista says:

      she said they usually wait until 1 because they’re bigger and many allergies change or are outgrown by then. i will push for testing around 6-8 months because i’m scared of introducing solids with no idea of what she could react to. (right now it looks like milk, eggs, soy, corn and nuts could all be triggers.)

  6. Sounds like a wonderful Christmas!

  7. LOVE that text exchange with your brother. The first time I cooked a turkey my dad told me I had cooked it upside down! But – everyone said it was the best turkey ever . Adorable photos of the girls!!! Gina (from Mass)

  8. I’m so sorry to hear about P’s regression. That must be so frustrating! I hope they can get something working soon! I wouldn’t have known about the turkey either… as we still are eating at the parents’ for the big event dinners. One day I’ll probably have to figure it out. Glad you had a Merry Christmas! We were also outside a bunch, enjoying unusually warm weather.

  9. This is hysterical. I have done something similar before.

  10. Your Christmas tree is beautiful! And your daughter looks amazing cute in the elf hat.

  11. AWWW, Looks like such a beautiful Christmas!:)

  12. Best screenshot ever … DO NOT BOIL THE TURKEY!!! Lmao

  13. I am personally impressed with your turkey-cooking skills… cooking large pieces of meat is intimidating!!

  14. I’ve never done the whole “brine” myself so I would guess that would be tricky. We had prime rib for dinner and it was awesome!

  15. I’m LOLing at the turkey and your text screenshot. Glad it turned out well, and it makes for a funny story too 🙂 How was the La Mer face mask? Does it really make your face look 20 years younger? I guess that would make you look Livi’s age, lol. For that price, I’d expect my skin to look like a baby angel’s butt.

    • Fitnessista says:

      it definitely felt like a baby angel’s butt haha. we had the masks on, and you’re only supposed to use them for 8 minutes, but we left them on forever. we were determined to soak up all of the goodness 😉

  16. OMG, you are a lucky lady! I’ve always had dreams of my husb and I drinking wine, listening to Christmas music, and wrapping gifts together on Christmas Eve. But it always ends with him going to sleep when the kids do, and me frantically wrapping gifts as I panic with every creak and noise from upstairs, lol! My mom has told me her experience was the same :0 You’ve got a good one!

  17. Have you considered taking P to see a chiropractor for her reflux? It’s done wonders for some babes I know!

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