Friday Faves

Hi friends!! The weekend is HERE. Oh yessss. Is anyone else super pumped about the weekend? I get so excited for the weekends is because the Pilot is home and we all have time to chill as a family. The weeks are a scramble, and we’re usually high-fiving as we switch off taking care of the girls while I teach at night. I feel like we truly get to enjoy family time on the weekends. 

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(Pretty much every picture of P is blurry right now. She is RUNNING and I’m usually trying to catch her haha.)

We don’t have a lot planned this weekend. Just hanging out, a date night (wahoo!), and getting things ready for our Tucson trip next week. I’m so excited to see the fam! Also, we’re getting cranking on the moving to-do list. Hold me. 

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In standard Friday fare, here are some faves from the week and around the web. I have so much fun putting this post together each week, to share some of the things I’m reading, loving, wearing, watching and eating. I always love to hear what you’re enjoying, too, so please feel free to join the party in the comments section!

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(Roses are blooming in the garden and they smell beautiful)

THE HIGHLIGHT: You guys, I saw Ina Garten. IN REAL LIFE. As we all know, I absolutely adore Ina. I love her sweet personality (I not-so-creepily imagine myself sitting at her kitchen counter, drinking tea and eating homemade biscotti), her recipes are perfect (if we’re having company, I know an Ina recipe won’t disappoint), and I think she’s lived a fascinating life. I recently picked up her new cookbook, Cooking For Jeffrey, and it’s by far my favorite since it includes small essays about their life together. 

Needless to say, when I saw she was coming to San Diego, I bought tickets. I had no idea what it was exactly (Would she cook? Or just talk? Or just breeze through while everyone cheered and then leave? Don’t know, don’t care), but I texted Betsy to see if she was down. We drove to the Balboa Theatre downtown after my spin class, not knowing what to expect, besides being surrounded by swarms of moms carrying cookbooks.

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It was absolutely lovely. As expected, she was wonderful, and exactly like she is on the show. She was interviewed on stage for about an hour about her life and the new cookbook. It felt like a genuine conversation instead of straight Q&A. After the interview, she took questions from the audience, from ideas on prepping food in advance, to relationships, to advice for going after your goals. 



A few of the many interesting things I learned from her talk: 

-She and Jeffrey have been married for 48 years (!!!) and have lived apart for a majority of their marriage. He teaches during the week, and she works, and they spend every weekend together. She said it works for them, and that when they’re together, they’re together. They give each other undivided attention and make sure that the other person knows that they’re the most important thing in their life at that moment. (Swoon.)

-AWESOME make-ahead Thanksgiving turkey tip: Make the turkey early in the day and carve it when you’re not in your party clothes. Make a large batch of gravy and spoon it onto the bottom of a large roasting dish. Place the turkey slices and drumsticks, etc., on top of the gravy, and set it on the countertop. Just before company is arriving, place everything into the oven to warm it up. She said the gravy makes the turkey taste amazing and keeps it moist, and the gravy also keeps it hot. (Instead of serving it on a platter and it gets cold immediately.)

-Ina swears. She only did once, but it was totally unexpected and hilarious.

-When she says to use a “good” ingredient, she doesn’t mean the most expensive. She means the one that’s the best to you! She and her team taste a variety of different ingredients to figure out the best brands to use for her recipes. They did it with chocolate last week, and found that Lindt was her absolute favorite for chocolate recipes. 



-On taking a leap of faith to do something new that you might be afraid of doing:

“I want to be as happy as I can be, and I’m willing to take a chance to do it.” 

She has taken a few risks in her career, which have obviously paid off. I’m a huge believer that there’s no reward without risk, and it was reassuring to hear that sometimes she had no clue what she was doing, but she was doing what she truly loved, and it all obviously worked out well for her. 

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(We made her skillet lemon chicken from the new cookbook and it was life. It was by far the best chicken to ever come out of our kitchen.)

Nekter in the neighborhood! One just opened in Liberty Station and I’ve already been an embarrassing amount of times. Why do smoothies taste better when someone else makes it?

I get the health nut with no agave, add greens:


The new Beauty and the Beast looks AMAZING.

This pumpkin icebox cake will be making an appearance this holiday season.

I picked up this Tarte paintbox last weekend, and already love it. I was going to grab a palette, but the sweet sales associate told me about how much more you get with this one, and it was about $10 more than the palette I was considering. Winning! A lot of the reviews say that the colors aren’t pigmented enough, but eyeshadow primer makes a huge difference. (I use this one.) This makes the look more pigmented and gives it staying power. Love all of the neutral colors, and deep pinks and plums for fall.

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Just like falling in love, we can form friendships at first sight.

Fun with man buns.

Tried and true Thanksgiving recipes.

An advanced kettlebell workout for increased strength and conditioning.

The definition of balance.

New read! I’m always trying to learn about fitness (especially regarding safety considerations for postpartum mamas), and my PT recommended this book to me. It challenges traditional views of the core -like the functions of various abdominal muscles, especially regarding the role of the transverse abdominis- and also provides safe alternatives to traditional, yet non-functional, core exercises. It’s arriving today, and I can’t wait to crack it open. (I like reading fiction books on my Kindle, but will usually buy hardcover versions of non-fiction so they’re easier for me to highlight, earmark and skim.)

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Tips for working from home with two kids.

Two more Hamilton mixtape songs dropped last night. Usher?! What are you trying to do to me, Lin? (<—when I pretend like we’re friends)

8-minute HIIT workout. This is great for traveling and all you need is a pair of dumbbells. 

A little pig eating pineapple.

Cranberry-stuffed acorn squash.

This is so brilliant.

My friend Tina’s new business endeavor! She co-founded Designed to Fit Nutrition, which creates custom meal plans according to your unique goals. She kindly sent me a free week meal plan, and while I haven’t followed it exactly, it’s given me a lot of new ideas and recipes. I’m excited to follow the plan during a non-travel week and see how I feel. I love that they customize it according to your schedules, goals, body composition, and nutrition preferences. I found the plan to be super thorough and well-organized so it will be easy to follow. Three cheers for blogger friends doing amazing things. 

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Hope you all have a very happy Friday and a wonderful weekend!

What’s something you’re loving this week? Who’s your favorite celebrity chef? What’s something you’re making for Thanksgiving?



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  1. Reenie on November 18, 2016 at 7:29 am

    OMG…. you lucky girl ~seeing Ina in person. She’s my fav-o-rite Chef. Her and Jeffrey look so sweet. I need to go get her new cookbook.

    Adorable photos of L & P.

    Happy Weekend!

    • Fitnessista on November 19, 2016 at 3:36 pm

      thank you! hope you’re enjoying the weekend

  2. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on November 18, 2016 at 7:38 am

    Wow that looks like so much fun! How did you hear about her coming? I wonder if she’ll be in Phoenix anytime soon. I would love to go. Nothing fabulous happening this weekend. Getting ahead on school work and some baking so I can have fun with friends next week.

    • Fitnessista on November 19, 2016 at 3:36 pm

      Facebook must have targeted me because i saw the tickets right there <3
      hope you enjoy relaxing this weekend!

  3. Bethany @ Dose of Discovery on November 18, 2016 at 7:48 am

    I need to up my chicken game. I might have to try that lemon skillet chicken recipe from Ina!

    • Bethany @ Dose of Discovery on November 18, 2016 at 9:33 am

      Also – I think feedly is working again!! yay!!

      • Fitnessista on November 19, 2016 at 3:34 pm

        yes, it is! wahoo!

    • Fitnessista on November 19, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      it was seriously incredible!

      • Bethany on November 20, 2016 at 6:02 pm

        I made the lemon skillet chicken tonight and it was the bomb! Easy & delicious.

  4. Emily @ Always Emily H. on November 18, 2016 at 7:53 am

    I got some crazy chills when I read this quote: “I want to be as happy as I can be, and I’m willing to take a chance to do it.”

    It could not be more true to my life.

    Happy Friday!

    • Fitnessista on November 19, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      right?! I LOVED THAT. she is super inspiring

  5. Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona on November 18, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Those roses are gorgeous!

    I love watching Anthony Bourdain. You can’t go wrong with a show that combines travel with amazing food.

    • Fitnessista on November 19, 2016 at 3:34 pm

      amen to that!

  6. Kelli @ Hungry Hobby on November 18, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Love the turkey tip! Also glad to see your feedly is working again, success!

    • Fitnessista on November 19, 2016 at 3:34 pm

      thank you! YES! so pumped!!
      happy weekend 🙂

  7. Stephanie on November 18, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Yay, your blog is showing up in Feedly again!

    Listening Ina sounds awesome! My mother-in-law gave me her Make It Ahead for Christmas a couple years ago. It has a ton of helpful advice for planning a dinner party.

    • Fitnessista on November 19, 2016 at 3:34 pm

      WAHOO! i’m so pumped it’s working again!!
      i need to check out that cookbook. she talked about it quite a bit and it sounds right up my alley
      happy weekend!

  8. Cassie on November 18, 2016 at 11:01 am

    I just got around to reading thornbirds and loved it!

    • Fitnessista on November 19, 2016 at 3:33 pm

      i haven’t heard of that one!

  9. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on November 18, 2016 at 11:38 am

    So many good faves this week, Gina! How inspiring is it to see celeb crushes in person? I’ve seen Lisa Sugar from POPSUGAR speak twice in the past couple of months in SF, and she makes me want to run the world hahah! Enjoy your time with the family this weekend! Yes, agreed, weekends are the best. They should be one day longer though. TGIF!

    • Fitnessista on November 19, 2016 at 3:33 pm

      SERIOUSLY. i think the world needs to adapt a 4-day work week. have you read lisa sugar’s book? i heard it’s amazing

  10. Jessie R on November 18, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    <3 Ina, she is the best! Happy Weekend to you all! Hope Liv is feeling better!

    • Fitnessista on November 19, 2016 at 3:33 pm

      thank you so much! hope you’re enjoying the weekend

  11. Sam @ Hygge Wellness on November 18, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    That’s wild that Ina and Jeffrey have been married for 48 years! Maybe because they don’t live together all the time…. lol Kidding, kidding!

    Have a great weekend!

    • Fitnessista on November 19, 2016 at 3:32 pm

      LOL i’m pretty sure everyone in the room thought that when she said it hahahaha

  12. Alexis on November 18, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Hi Gina! Where did you buy the Tarte Paintbox? I love it!

    • Fitnessista on November 19, 2016 at 3:32 pm


  13. Kim C on November 18, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    So jealous you got to see Ina! I made the lemon chicken also, you’re right…it’s life. Definitely making it for a girl’s night soon!

    • Fitnessista on November 19, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      i can’t wait to make it again!! SO good

  14. Katie on November 18, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    I love Ina! We are hosting Thanksgiving this year so the oven will be taken up for most of the day with the turkey. I am already Pinteresting crock pot recipes…haha. Also, I love Bella creeping in the background of your chicken picture. My little one does the same thing, but is less polite about it 🙂

    • Fitnessista on November 19, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      that is so fun you’re hosting it! good luck with the prep and every thing <3
      haha bella was just polite in the picture. she's usually scratching up my legs, little nugget

  15. Caitlin on November 18, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    If my husband could marry any one (other than me… haha) he has admitted it would be Ina!

    • Fitnessista on November 19, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      can’t blame him haha. she is a goddess

  16. Jessica on November 19, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Ahhh I love Ina! Enjoy your weekend! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on November 19, 2016 at 3:30 pm

      she’s the best! hope you’re having a great weekend, too!

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