10 ways to make it a dashing December

Hi friends! Happy Sunday and Happy December πŸ™‚ Hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend so far!

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We’ve had a lot of fun this weekend hanging out, relaxing, holiday-ifying our house… oh, and our elf has already gotten into a bit of trouble.


(We’re having a little too much fun with #inappropriateelf . Check it out on Instagram if you’re not easily offended, haha)

Even though December is already magical, delicious and exciting, I thought I’d post one of my usual lists to spice things up a little!

Here are some ways to make it an even more dashing December:

-Plan an outdoor cold weather date. We love to pack up hot cocoa and drive around to look at Christmas lights — I can’t wait to take Livi with us this year! Find a local outdoor event you’d love to attend, and call up a friend or your love to join you. Even though the temperature is mild here -we definitely don’t have ice skating, which I think we’d love!- there are a lot of fun, outdoor Tucson events this month. You just have to bundle up and go for it πŸ˜‰

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-Set up a volunteer event with some friends. There are a lot of opportunities for philanthropic events, so find one that’s close to your heart. I’ve suggested this in previous months, but if you can’t find anything that works for your busy schedule, set up your own fitness event or 5k with your friends. Before you attend a class you love or go for your group run, each make a contribution to a charity you believe in. 

TinaEmilyMeghannTheodoraMonicaJulieAnne, Janae, Caitlin and I were talking about a way we could collaboratively give back this season, and decided to design a shirt with 100% of the proceeds going to a fabulous cause.

Here is the shirt, which can be purchased here:

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100% of the profits -which is about $7 per shirt- will go directly to LEAP, which stands for Ladies Empowerment and Action Program.

From their website,”Ladies Empowerment and Action Program (LEAP) is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization offering an innovative inside prison re-entry and post release support program. The program is designed to stimulate and empower incarcerated women to make positive life changes through a multi-disciplinary approach including entrepreneurship training, education and mentorship.”

The goal of LEAP is to prepare participants to start their own businesses or become successfully employed. By providing skills, mentorship and training, it helps to foster empowerment among these women and thus reduce recidivism in the female prison population. If you’re interested in learning more, I definitely suggest checking out this page. If you’d like to pick up a shirt for yourself or a friend this holiday season, check out the link here. The blog community has an incredible way of collaborating to support other women, and I hope this event is just as successful <3

-Spread some cheer at a home for the elderly. It’s fun to spend some time and listen to stories from those who are so wise. Livi is finally old enough to go with me this year, and I can’t wait to take her — spreading love and happiness to others is one of her many talents.

-Pick up some cute mittens, scarf or a beanie. I always feel kind of blah when I dress for the cold weather, but a fun accessory -loooooove this beanie!- puts a little pep in my step πŸ™‚

-Start to scheme spring fitness goals and get cracking on your inspiration board. I feel like I play this banjo every holiday season, but I’ll say it again: if you have huge fitness goals on the horizon, I think it’s advantageous to wait until the holidays are over. Sure, the “holidays” are just a handful of days over the next month or so, but I think it’s a great time of year to focus on maintaining your healthy lifestyle instead of getting all crazypants and burning out before New Years is here. Also (this is an entirely post in itself, but) try to make changes that you can maintain for the long term. If you don’t want to do it forever, don’t do it.

This is why I wait until the end of January to start Winter Shape Up: just as the sun is starting to warm up, you feel confident, strong and energized! You can commit sans holiday distractions during that time.

Start to think of goals you want to conquer in the new year and start working on your inspiration board (Pinterest: @fitnessista #inspirationboard). If you find changes or little steps you can make right now, awesome, but if not, be easy on yourself. Make the most of the memories this month, and enjoy yourself <3

-Create something. I really admire those who can whip up some adorable baby booties or a luxurious scarf, but I’m not really going to do this. Instead, I’ll definitely be working on a few easy holiday crafts with Livi. Sometimes I get excited and make felt trees or spray paint some pine cones πŸ˜‰ (<– I just wrote “snow cones.” Okkkkkk…)

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-Bake something lovely. I love baking, but realllyyyy get the baking bug right before the holidays. This week, I’m going to make a triple batch of sugar cookies and freeze them. This way, when we have our cookie decorating party, all of the cookies are already made. 

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(Gluten-free peanut butter blossoms!)

-On the same note: do what you can in advance. I’ve already promised myself that as gifts arrive (yay, Amazon Christmas!) I’m going to wrap them that day and put them under the tree. This way, I won’t be last-minute wrapping the few gifts I’ve purchased and hid around the house. I’m usually a last-minute shopper, but am really trying to get things done early this year. I’m also going to make a few of our Christmas brunch items the week before, so they’re in the freezer and ready to go.

-Have a holiday movie party. We’ll be watching Elf and drinking egg nog. 

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-Challenge yourself to show kindness, especially when you don’t feel like it. It can be tempting to reciprocate the same emotions/attitudes you receive. This time of year, there tends to be two extremes: extremely happy cheery people, and scrooges. What I’ve noticed: the scrooges are always waging their own battles. Or, they might not realize how cranky they are. Be kind, and you’ll be surprised how their attitude can quickly turn around. If it doesn’t: it’s on them, not on you. <3 

What are you going to do to make it a dashing December?

Something you’re looking forward to this month?

Something to look forward to in the next two weeks: 10 days of giveaways here on the blog! Buckle up, because they’re pretty awesome prizes πŸ˜‰ Congratulations to the winner of the custom Reebok shoes: Gabriella G. I sent her an email last night. 

See ya tonight with some weekend pics!



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  1. Ali @ Peaches and Football on December 1, 2013 at 11:34 am

    There are soooooo many amazing things going on in December! I’m definitely on board for the Christmas movie night(s). I like to grab a friend or two and we make a night of wrapping gifts, sipping egg nog, and watching a movie.

    We also like to drive around and look at the lights. A few houses are beyond ridiculous with the lights. It’s pretty awesome. I’m still waiting for someone in town to set their lights up to music. πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on December 1, 2013 at 6:27 pm

      i love ridiculous lights! after reading your comment, i asked the pilot to set ours up to music. he wasn’t on board haha

  2. Anna on December 1, 2013 at 11:57 am

    It’s a nice T-Shirt!! Well done!!

    I also really love Christmas and December.

    • Fitnessista on December 1, 2013 at 6:27 pm

      thank you <3
      the best!! πŸ™‚

  3. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun on December 1, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Love the T-shirt! It is very well put together and I love the quote! I love December and I am looking forward to when we get to put up our Christmas tree – hopefully today or VERY soon!

  4. Tammy on December 1, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    What I’m looking forward to in December is spending time with the newest member of our family, my new grandbaby, Emma, who was born on Thanksgiving!

    • Fitnessista on December 1, 2013 at 6:26 pm

      that is so exciting! what a beautiful name, too πŸ™‚ congrats to your family!

      • Tammy on December 2, 2013 at 12:01 am

        Thanks so much! She is a total joy!

  5. Christie @ http://Kissesandkale.blogspot.com on December 1, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    This is a great list! Do you have the recipe for those gluten free peanut butter blossoms? They look amazing!

  6. Taylor Hughes on December 1, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Just ordered the shirt!

    • Fitnessista on December 1, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      awesome- thank you so much!

  7. Cassie on December 1, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    I’m turning 30 in 9 days!

    • Fitnessista on December 1, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      whoo hoo! thirty flirty and thriving πŸ™‚

  8. Shaina on December 1, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    I’m SO excited for December! Tripp was too little last year for the felt tree, so I’m all over that this year – especially since it will be our only tree. Womp woooomp. We’re going to VA for 9 days to see my fam and don’t want a dead tree to come home to, so we’re just decorating the house all Christmas-y and will enjoy Tripp’s tree. πŸ™‚ I’ve gotten a lot of my shopping done already too, which feels AWESOME!

    • Fitnessista on December 1, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      i think i’m going to put up liv’s again, too!
      (so excited for you, btw!!)

  9. Natasha on December 1, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Love that t shirt quote!

    • Fitnessista on December 1, 2013 at 6:24 pm

      me too! i really love how they turned out

  10. J on December 1, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Are you planning on disclosing if you received any sort of monetary or other gain from promoting that charity and t-shirt? It seems as though you’re promoting it. If not, I think that’s great, but I think you owe it to you readers to disclose if you benefit from it or not.

    • Fitnessista on December 1, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      100% of the profits go to leap- I thought I was pretty clear in the post. We are not making any money from it but promoting the sales of the shirt to support leap

      • J on December 1, 2013 at 2:30 pm

        Good to know. Thanks for such a kind response. You did make it clear about the profits but I was asking about benefits that you get. Thanks again for responding kindly.

        • Fitnessista on December 1, 2013 at 2:38 pm

          Of course. Thank you for reading πŸ™‚

  11. Lucie@FitSwissChick on December 1, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Love the list!!
    My favorite things about the holiday season is to stroll around the christmas market at the lake and eat crepes and drink hot spiced wine. And to knit. Yes, I knit the luxurious scarfs πŸ™‚ while watching christmas movies!

    • Fitnessista on December 1, 2013 at 6:24 pm

      ok, so i had spiced wine for the first time on thanksgiving and OMG, it rocked my world. i’ve been missing out!

  12. Abi@AbsofSteel on December 1, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    I like the holiday movie night idea, Elf is a must see holiday movie in our house πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on December 1, 2013 at 6:24 pm

      multiple times πŸ™‚

  13. Sanaz@ Run for Cake on December 1, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    December is so awesome! I can’t believe its already here but I am excited for Christmas. We put up our tree toady and I swear it just makes our house look so much better. Everyone would really benefit by having a festive tree up year round to celebrate every holiday and every season. πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on December 1, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      i totally agree! we put our tree and decorations up and the house feels much cozier πŸ™‚

  14. Mia on December 1, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Haha, I love the #inappropriateelf awesome!
    Things we are doing differently in December this year are focusing more on family, spending time with those we love, and focusing on the true meaning of the holiday. It is too easy to get wrapped up in the hustle, bustle, and frustrations of gift giving that we have decided to slow down and give back this year! We are very fortunate and have decided that sometimes there is someone who needs a little extra help or caring right in your own area.
    We also plan to do a lot of cookie baking, spreading the cheer, and enjoying the season. I was in a miserable place in my career last December, which made Christmas horrible. I plan to have a complete 180 this year!

    • Fitnessista on December 1, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      hope this year is a much better one for you! sounds like you’re going to make it an amazing season with your family. enjoy! <3

  15. Rumi on December 1, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    I love the decorating idea of peanut butter blossoms, so simple and elegant!

  16. Rumi on December 1, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    I love the decorating idea of peanut blossoms, so simple and elegant!

  17. Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs on December 1, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    I’ve already watched Elf three times this season — I think I have a problem πŸ™‚

  18. Dominique @ Eat, Pray, Lift on December 1, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Fantastic list, and I LOVE the last one! <3

    I love celebrating Christmas, and I'm looking forward to it even more because my brother gets to come home for a visit for two weeks! He's in the Marine Corps and seeing him is the best present ever.

    • Fitnessista on December 1, 2013 at 11:23 pm

      that makes my heart so warm for you. the best feeling in the world! thank you to him and your family for your service!

  19. Livi on December 1, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    My mom has never seen Elf!! I need to watch it with her this December!

    • Fitnessista on December 1, 2013 at 11:22 pm

      you need to change that! she’ll love it πŸ™‚

  20. Erin @ The Almond Eater on December 1, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Ahhh I love the tshirt idea that’s so nice of you guys. Also–LOVE the inappropriate elf lolollll, along with the movie Elf. How can you not love Elf? So good. I’m mostly looking forward to spending time with family and buying more Christmas decorations. You can never have enough!

    • Fitnessista on December 1, 2013 at 11:22 pm

      i couldn’t agree more πŸ˜‰

  21. Crystal on December 1, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    This will be the first Christmas in our own home, so we are decorating the entire house lol. My husband is obsessed with Christmas, he wants our house to be the Griswold’s :/ I love the holidays too, I’ve already pulled out all the DVDs, Elf, Love Actually, Family Stone, and some classics like Miracle on 34th St πŸ˜‰ And I’m excited to try new cookie recipes, bring on the sugar and butter, haha.

  22. Laura B @ Fit Mama Love on December 1, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    I love driving around and looking at lights! I take a gingerbread latte with me nowadays instead of hot chocolate. My son used to hate the car seat, so it wasn’t until last year, at 2.5, that we got to do it with him. Now he loves it! We drove around the neighborhood tonight looking at them on the way home.

    Now that he’s old enough to get it, I’m looking forward to doing more giving or charity things with him. We’re for sure going to buy a gift for a child in need from the tree at the mall this year. Hopefully a few other things too!

    Thanks for introducing me to #inappropriateelf! So entertaining!

  23. Julie on December 2, 2013 at 2:50 am

    I’ll definitely be watching some movies as well as going to see Christmas lights!

  24. RachelG on December 2, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Gina, the LEAP foundation is so amazing! Thank you for bringing it to our attention. I just completed a training with the Prison Yoga Project (prisonyoga.org), and am really hoping that I can get a chance to teach yoga and mindful meditation to the incarcerated. These are people who truly need to be lifted from their negative cycles of abuse, drugs, and anger, and given the chance to turn their lives around.

    Thank you for all that you do, and Happy Monday! πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on December 2, 2013 at 10:41 am

      your comment gave me the chills- i couldn’t agree more. i hope you get the opportunity to do that <3
      sending love to you.

      • RachelG on December 2, 2013 at 11:27 am

        <3 πŸ™‚

  25. kaitlyn on December 2, 2013 at 11:42 am

    all i need is elf, christmas with the kranks, and my favorite holiday treat: pretzels with caramel dove chocolate and pecans. you should make these. they r soooo good and addicting. all u do is put the pretzels on a baking sheet and a dove chocolate with caramel center and when theyve metled a little you put a pecan or almond or whatever kind of nut you like on that. when the chocolate hardens, omg good. and healthier than other stuff out there. its salty and sweet

    • Fitnessista on December 2, 2013 at 12:13 pm

      i can’t wait to make these! thank you for the recipe!
      and LOVE christmas with the cranks (FREE FROSTY!)

  26. Ashley on December 2, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    I love baking fun holiday things, I also hope to finish a scarf Im knitting (that I started last year…)

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