10 ways to make it a divine December

“Oh month, diviiiiiiiiiiine” <— slightly off-key (it’s the morning), but you get the idea

August was awesome, September was stellar, October was outstanding, November was a knock-out and now we’re rounding out the year, which always has a fresh and magical feel to it. It also has a deathly cold feel to it- we had to run water last night and leave all of our cabinets open for the freeze warning.

The kitchen looked kinda creepy when we came downstairs!


December is a beautiful time to enjoy the cozy weather, the company of loved ones, and make it a divine month.


Here are some things to make December a little more fun- feel free to join in or create your own list!


(One of my favorite pictures… two little Clauses)

1.) Deck the halls.

garland (5)

Even if it isn’t a holiday month for you, find something special to spruce up your living space. It could be something bigger that you’ve been eyeing –TONS of deals right now!- or something simple, like a snowman or cheery bouquet of flowers.


2.) Plan a get-together. We have quite a few to look forward to this month- lots of squadron events, work events for me, and a cookie exchange party I’m hoping I can make it to after Thursday night’s dance show. In Valdosta, my friends and I had dinner and an ornament exchange. It was a wonderful night, and it made me feel so nostalgic to unwrap the ornament to put on our Tucson tree.


(Holiday dinner at Jeni’s house)

3.) Give to others. It’s fun to be a part of the shopping hustle and bustle for family and friends, but if you’d like, pick up an extra little something for someone in need. I always enjoy shopping for these gifts the most.

angel tree

(Thinking of a warm outfit, toy and book?)

4.) Give to yourself. I always include something like this in each month’s list, because I think it’s so important to take care of yourself and do things that make you happy. At least once this month, plan something you look forward to (a date with a friend, girls’ night, pedicure, movie night with your love, massage, etc) – it can really have a positive effect when work/family/life is crazy busy.

5.) Take it inside. If the colder weather has put a damper on your favorite fitness activity, try out a new class at a local gym, yoga studio, or begin/focus on a strength training routine. I recommend: Zumba, spin and kickboxing. You may find a new workout love <3


6.) Make a soup or chili. I added this one in here because soup is one of those things I pretty much never make, although we both enjoy it. I do love sweet potato and black bean chili but want to venture into the soup world. Any recipes I should try?


7.) Drink hot cocoa and watch a wintery flick. You can do the homemade route, or just heat up dark chocolate almond milk like I do 😉 We’ve already done this multiple times (the other night, it was “Home Alone”), but ‘tis the season- I love it.


8.) Rock a circle scarf. I love these things so much and have been on the prowl.. thinking this may be “the one”

image Nordstrom

Circle scarf, sweater, coat, skinnies, and boots. Winter uniform, done.

9.) Start inspiration-storming. If you have ideas or see something you’d like to add to your 2012 inspiration board, start snipping away and add them to an envelope. This way, when it’s time to make yours, you’ll be a step ahead of the game. [Following the tradition of the past two years, in January I’ll be posting my inspiration board along with readers’]

inspiration (3)

10.) Take extra time to spend with those you love. December can be a crazy month with work obligations, a full schedule of holiday soirees, and possible stress of getting everything done. Don’t be afraid to decline an event you’d rather not go to and prioritize time with those you care about. We have 8 events coming up, and as much as I’d like to go to all of them, there’s no way.


(Christmas at my Dadoo’s house)

And who knows, we may be surprised with a very special Christmas gift 🙂

What are your goals to make it a divine month, or something you’re looking forward to??

Here’s to a happy and healthy December!



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  1. Catherine on December 6, 2011 at 4:39 pm


    I just posted this vegan lentil slow-cooker soup on my blog. It was so easy and DELICIOUS, and even better the longer it sat.

  2. Anna @ The Guiltless Life on December 6, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a Christmas baby? Wow, I will keep my fingers crossed for you!

    I think all of these are great ideas for the crazy Christmas season! I agree on declining some event invites, taking some time for yourself AND trying a new fitness activity. I get bored so fast and always need to change things up!

  3. Amy@healthyhungryhappy.com on December 6, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    i am definitely loving my slow cooker right now. i cant wait to go home to spend time with family and friends! its always so much fun!

    • Fitnessista on December 6, 2011 at 5:01 pm

      i’m using mine today too 🙂

  4. Kelly on December 6, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    I live in a VERY cold area (we were below zero this morning), so I don’t understand…do you not have a furnace?

    • Fitnessista on December 6, 2011 at 5:01 pm

      yeah we do- we were just doing what the email told us, we don’t know about these things haha

  5. Amanda on December 6, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    I made my first vision board last January and I have been stockpiling magazines all year for 2012- Maybe I’ll have a vision boarding party!!!!

  6. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on December 6, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Love this list! I’ve already crossed off #6 – I made a kale, butternut squash, and white bean soup a few nights ago! 😀

    I’m looking forward to being done exams and going home for the holidays. Only 13 more days now!

  7. Laurie on December 6, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    I am a Florida person so I don’t know about a lot of winter things…my husband said they used to open the cabinets by the sink if it was next to an exterior wall so the warm air gets in, but why the upper cabinets? Just curious?

    • Fitnessista on December 6, 2011 at 7:39 pm

      haha oops. i think those are the cabinets we’re supposed to open. we’re winter rookies 😉

      • Laurie on December 7, 2011 at 5:12 pm

        That is funny.something I would do. It reminds me of a time when I took some 6th grade students on their fist airplane and gave them gum in case their ears started to hurt. When we took off, one of them asked me if I could help him put his stick of gum in his ears!

  8. Allison on December 6, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    i’m definitely looking forward to christmas with my family! also next week we’re hoping *fingers crossed* to find out what my sister is having! (she’s preggo) so i’m pumped for that!

  9. Hillary on December 6, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    As soon as finals are over, I’m getting a haircut and a manicure. I. cannot. wait!

  10. Kate on December 6, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    It’s a summer Christmas down under (New Zealand) so we’re looking forward to BBQ’s with friends & family, and long days at the beach! Yay!

    • Fitnessista on December 7, 2011 at 12:20 am

      well that sounds pretty much amazing 🙂 enjoy!!

  11. Ali on December 6, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Love the tip to prioritize. I think that is so important for the busyness of this season. You can’t be everywhere at once!

  12. Mary on December 6, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Try this!!!
    Sweet potato, carrot, apple and red lentil soup
    1/4 cup butter
    2 lrg sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
    3 lrg carrots, peeled and chopped
    1 apple, peeled, cored, chopped
    1 onion, chopped
    1/2 cup red lentils (or any kind)
    1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
    1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp ground cumin
    1/2 tsp chili powder
    1/2 tsp paprika
    4 cups vegetable broth
    plain yogurt

    Melt butter in large pot over medium high heat. Place chopped sweet potatoes, carrots, apple, and onion in pot. Stir and cook until translucent (about 10 min.).
    Stir in lentils, ginger, pepper, salt, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and vegetable broth to the apple, veggie mixture. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer until the lentils and veggies are soft (about 30 minutes).
    Working in batches, puree soup in blender until reached desired consistency, or use a stick blender, and puree right in the pot.
    Return soup to pot, and bring back to simmer over medium high heat, about 10 minutes. Add water or broth to thin soup as you prefer. Serve with yogurt for garnish.

    Gina-fy-it as you see fit! Hope you like it!!!

  13. Marguerite Miller on December 6, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    LOL… I was going to ask about the cabinets as well! I have heard about leaving your water at at least a constant drip! But not the cabinets! Now reading the cabinets near the sink, it makes more sense! Although I am a FL girl now, I grew up in PA, and remember the burst and frozen pipes!

    I have been watching a bunch of “feel good” movies on the Hallmark channel! And I also had an almost Christmas baby! My son was Dec 23rd! And we were out visiting family on the 25th!! Please make sure your baby has a “Birthday” with Birthday wrapped gifts every year! Don’t make it just a bigger Christmas for her! Give her Birthdays to remember!! My son missed a bunch of birthday stuff being so close to Christmas! Everyone was so busy and preoccupied! His best ones were when it was out at a place where people could just drop their kids and go shopping or whatever for a while!

    • Kate on December 7, 2011 at 12:01 am

      I was thinking the same thing! On extra-cold Chicago nights, we leave the faucets at a tiny drip…..same for when you go out of town during the winter….don’t want to come home to burst pipes. But I’ve NEVER heard of the cabinet thing. It reminds me of an old roommate who used to leave cabinets open after cooking — drove me MAD!

  14. esmemerrie on December 6, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    It’s too funny to read about the things you have to do due to this freeze warning! lol sure is different than life in Canada!
    if you like red peppers, this is the soup to go to!
    (don’t mind the title, it’s not about the soup ;P)

  15. Dana on December 7, 2011 at 2:21 am

    Make this veggie chili! http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/spicy_vegetarian_chili/
    It’s definitely divine!

  16. Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning on December 7, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Ha! The circle scarf! My brother’s girlfriend was wearing one of these the other night, and that was the first time I’ve ever seen one! I didn’t know they were really a “thing” but now I’m sure that I’ll start seeing them everywhere!

  17. Crystal on December 7, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    I love the Lentil Sniffle Soup from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan

    Also, #10 is my favorite 🙂

  18. Robin on December 7, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    My FAVORITE Soup Recipe: (I use all organic ingredients when possible)
    1 onion
    1 garlic clove
    2 T olive oil
    2 28oz cans of stewed tomatoes
    4 c of vegetable stock
    1 can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
    bunch of fresh green beans
    carrots- cut longwise and in half (I use baby carrots)
    1 sweet potato
    ( you can also get creative and add other veggies, I’ve done squash, zucchini and even cabbage)
    Chili powder, salt and pepper to taste

    Start with the olive oil in a large pot over medium high. Add and brown the onion, add the garlic. Cook for 2-5 minutes (desired texture), add the tomatoes and vegetable stock. Add the rest of the vegetables, bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 45 minutes. Serve and enjoy
    We top with sour cream. : )

    And I LOVE your blog

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