Deck the halls with fear and bells

Today’s big adventure involved putting a very cute little red dress on an even cuter little girl to get her Santa picture.


I felt awful, as she’s not a huge fan of the man in red, and she was so happy leading up to the event itself. My mom and nana met us at the mall and we changed her into her dress, tights and shiny shoes, then walked over to the Santa area. This particular mall is huge on the Christmas pomp and circumstance, complete with a letter-writing area, magical mailbox, legit Santa (with a real beard!)… and scary elf workers.

Liv was doing so well, and I backed up to Santa so she couldn’t really see him. The plan was to place her gently on his lap and scurry away so they could snap a quick photo, with madre and nana to make faces and help her smile. It was quickly foiled when the scary elf lady took her from my arms to place her on Santa’s lap.  She took one look at the elf lady, one look at Santa and it was all over. They took a few photos and at least we got it over with. Poor girl.

With meg

(met up with her Auntie Meg afterwards!)

Santa handed me this when I thanked him for the photo and for being so great with Liv:


(don’t worry, no photos while I was driving- just took a parking lot pic before I forgot)

a Ben’s bell.

I can’t even tell you how excited I was to see this.

Ben’s Bells is a Tucson charity, created by a mom when she lost her son Ben to a sickness when he was only 3 years old. Along with some friends, they started creating bells that they had designed in his memory and made them out of clay in their backyard. It had a therapeutic effect for them to make the bells, and they decided to give hundreds away as a token of kindness to others. The initial distribution of the bells had a ripple effect and since then, they continue to be made and distributed by volunteers in Ben’s memory. It’s a beautiful cause, and one that I’d like to become more involved with as my friend Lisa has volunteered with them a few times. They have an online store, too, if you’d like to pick up some of your own kindness coins to share <3

Some eats:

Newest snack love

Peas  1 of 1

(woman on the bag says, “shall I eat the whole bag? Why yes, yes I should”)

oldest snack love:

Chip thirty  1 of 1

and maybe the best beast to grace our table with its presence.


The smoked salmon cobb (thanks M-Stew) with tomatoes, spinach for the lettuce, turkey bacon, and almond milk instead of buttermilk in the dressing.

+ shiraz = pretty much the meal I dreamed about during my entire pregnancy

Tonight we’re watching Ted (pretty hilarious) and going to call it an early night. I took today off from the gym, so I’m refreshed and ready to hit it hard in the am!

See ya then 🙂



Something to read:

21 questions for Dr Oz

Best celebrity weight loss stories of 2012

Best workout music

Peppermint bark with coconut butter!

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  1. Baroque Diva on December 17, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Wow- I was singing with the TSO this weekend (naturally kept hoping I would magically bump into you and Liv! lol), but anyhoo.. I was staying at the Marriott by U of A and wandered past the Ben’s Bells shop and thought it was the sweetest thing ever. Such a coincidence that you just posted about it! I had a nice firt time visiting Tucson, although it sure was chilly! Thanks for the smoked salmon on salad inspiration- definitely making that!!

  2. Jess on December 17, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    My girls are so intrigued by Santa, until we get close and then they are distraught. I havent even tried to get a pic as I know they would be so distressed. Liv looks really cute in her red dress and her experience sounds like it was quick and only a little scary! 🙂

  3. Lisa on December 17, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    Ben’s Bells sounds like such a beautiful idea! I love it. Definitely will be looking online for more information. I so wish we had a TJ’s where I live, all there snacks are so intriguing:) I’m planning to watch Ted this weekend, I can’t wait to see if it’s as hilarious as I hope it will be.

    • Fitnessista on December 18, 2012 at 12:04 am

      it’s very inappropriate. and very funny

  4. JenL on December 17, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    Oh so sad she was traumatized, I was hoping to see her santa picture though, will you post?!!

    • Fitnessista on December 18, 2012 at 12:03 am

      probably not- she looks so sad 🙁

  5. jodye @ chocolate and chou fleur on December 17, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Liv looks so adorable in her dress! I remember being younger and hating having to get my picture taken with santa – I think I was just shy though. I’ve been wondering about the movie Ted ever since it came out – I’ll have to watch it now that it has your seal of approval!

    • Fitnessista on December 18, 2012 at 12:04 am

      i was the same way. i hated it, but not because i was scared, i was just shy

      • Fitnessista on December 18, 2012 at 12:05 am

        and ted is silly/dumb/hilarious 🙂

  6. Elle on December 17, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    Awh poor Liv! She looks adorable though. I was so afraid of Santa when I was little he wasn’t even allowed into the house! Frosty the Snowman would bring my presents to the front yard where my Dad would meet him. Dad would then bring the presents inside and put them under the tree, since Frosty would melt if he went inside…

    Those snacks look so good, I’ll have to check it out when I’m at tjs tomorrow!

  7. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on December 18, 2012 at 1:23 am

    Aww Livi’s dress is gorgeous! My nephews first picture with Santa was the same way, him all dressed up, screaming his head off!

  8. Amanda @ .running with spoons. on December 18, 2012 at 2:27 am

    I love the idea behind Ben’s Bells and wish we had something like that where I live. I’m always amazed by how such simple and random acts or tokens of kindness can make such a huge difference in someone’s day… It’s the little things in life 🙂

  9. tasvir on December 18, 2012 at 3:06 am

    I love the idea behind Ben’s Bells and wish we had something like that where I live. I’m always amazed by how such simple and random acts or kindness can make such a huge difference in someone’s day… It’s the little things in life

  10. Lucie on December 18, 2012 at 4:34 am

    Oh, I can so relate to Liv’s feelings. I used to hide myself under ma bed at home when Santa was supposed to turn up. I got over it with the time though and could sit in front of him and talk to him at least 🙂 What a wonderful idea behind the Ben’s Bells.

  11. Carolyn on December 18, 2012 at 7:47 am

    My one year old reacted the same way to Santa. Seems to just be the thing at this age. I am in our Santa picture holding my daughter!

  12. alyssa - life a la wife on December 18, 2012 at 7:55 am

    Aw, was hoping to see a picture of her with Santa!

  13. Haley @ The Saucy Apple on December 18, 2012 at 8:18 am

    This cracks me up because my little niece takes notoriously funny pictures with the man in red. You can see her at 1 year old, bawling her eyes out on Santa’s lap, and then her 2 years old shots were just hysterical. I think it’s because in the photo, Santa looks just as perplexed and miserable as my niece does. Poor kids. The things we put them through! 😛

  14. Kim on December 18, 2012 at 8:21 am

    I remember those days with my boys. I usually went ahead and got a picture of them even if they were crying. Now that they are older it is fun to look back and see their different reactions over the years. Even unhappy, she is super cute!!!

  15. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles on December 18, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Love the idea of Ben’s Bells!

    And I’m sure Liv looked cute, even if she was less than happy meeting Santa!

  16. Ali @ Peaches and Football on December 18, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Aww – I always wonder how the little ones will react to Santa. It can be a lot to take in with all the strange people in the weird clothes. Maybe next year she’ll be totally on board. Plus, as much as you want a great picture every year – sometimes those not-so-great ones hold the best memories for smiles and belly laughs years later.

  17. Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome on December 18, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Awww, poor Liv! Our little guy had the same reaction this year. Last year (at 7 months) he surprised us by sitting on his lap smiling away. This year, (18 months) not so great. At least their too young to remember!

  18. Joelle (on a pink typewriter) on December 18, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Aw poor Liv! It seems like most little kiddos are petrified of Santa.:/ Love the idea of Ben’s Bell though.

  19. Vesna Fit Missy on December 18, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Almond milk instead of butter milk? Great idea!

  20. Marguerite Miller on December 18, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Another thought…Since the Big production Santa’s seem to have a “their was only” policy and you can’t put Liv on Santa’s lap your way…Try to find a place that has a Santa that you can do it your way…or even be in the picture with Liv! Like a Church breakfast, or a garden center in your area! Sometimes stores will have a day when they have a Santa just for their store! Or even a pet store when they have Santa and pet photos, where you can take your dogs AND Liv!

  21. chocolate-covered katie on December 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Aw poor thing. But she looks so cute! I love the shoes, especially :).

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