Friday Faves

Hi friends! Happy Friday! How’s the week going? Anything fun happening this weekend? We’re taking Liv to see The Nutcracker (a family tradition) and are having friends over for dinner tonight. It’s going to be our last time entertaining, so I’m determined to make it a good one: cheese board, filet with mustard and mushrooms, broiled salmon, salad, sweet potatoes, and wine (duh). 

It’s time to the weekly Friday Faves party! I always love to share some of the highlights and finds from the week, and love when you share your faves with me, too. Please join in the fun in the comments section if you would like!

Before we get rocking and rolling, here are the winners from this week’s sneaky gift guide giveaways:

 “I am Freaking Cold Sweatshirt + stocking stuffers: Bo

Beautycounter hand cream + Homesick candle: Paige

Mom gift guide surprise goodies: Nichole

Fitness gift guide top: Lisa

All winners have been emailed. Stay tuned for more giveaways coming up!

Holiday lights at garrison

Faves from the week and around the web: 

Padma perfume

This perfume. I feel like this is one of those finds where I’m sharing an awesome secret (like when Julie told me about moto leggings. I wear these ones all the time). This perfume is amaaaaaaaazing. I’ve been on the hunt for a non-toxic perfume (“fragrance” is actually an umbrella term that the industry uses to hide chemicals) and hit the jackpot at the co-op. It’s purely essential oils, and unlike many of the other “perfumes” I’ve smelled sans chemicals, this one actually smells like a female would wear it, instead of a tree. It smells bright and floral and BEAUTIFUL. It also lasts all day! I’ll put a couple of dabs on my wrists and behind my ears and the first day I wore it, Liv said, “Mom, you smell so beautiful.” The ultimate test. Winner winner.

A cookie exchange with friends. Our friend Cam hosted the most gorgeous cookie exchange party. Here’s how a cookie exchange works: each guest brings a specified amount cookies, and they’re all set out on a large table.

Cookie party

Then, you go through the selection and fill a tray with cookies to pack up and take home. So you make one type of cookie, and come home with multiple flavors and types. You also look like a rockstar chef when you give them to others and they think you baked everything yourself. Heh heh.

plate of cookies

I was blown away by the set-up and decor. Cam definitely knows how to throw a fancy and beautiful party. She had the most gorgeous packing station set up with various types of holiday boxes and gift bags, tissue, name tags, little jingle bells, and tons of ribbon.

packing station

We had so much fun packing up the cookies, and each person left with about 4-5 boxes and bags of beautifully-packed cookies to gift. I’ve had so much fun sharing them with others this week. 

pretty cookie packages

The kitchen island with filled with appetizers (olive tapenade and dips, crackers, mini quiches, cheese board, baked brie, crudites, fruit, etc) and a stocked bar with wine and champagne. Needless to say, we all had a blast. 

W the girls

(The plaid shirt I’m wearing is another fave from the week! I’d been coveting it ever since I saw it in the catalogue, so when they got my size back in stock, I swooped it.)

Me with truffles

(wearing with these pants and shoes similar to these ones)

crunchy almond butter truffles

(Almond butter crispy truffles)

Rotator cuff exercises.

Bruno Mars carpool karaoke. I just love him.

Innovations that made women’s lives better in 2016.

Food Entrepreneur Summit is open for enrollment! I purchased a ticket last year, and learned so much about social media and the business behind blogging. I highly recommend it for all of my blogger friends. Nicole is offering 3 different pricing levels, and today the first 20 to enroll will get their virtual ticket for $149 and then the price will jump to $199 (all early bird pricing). Sign up here! I’m already enrolled and can’t wait.

Food Entrepreneur Summit

Holiday lights at Garrison.

Family at Garrison

The other night, we enjoyed Soup Plantation for dinner (the girls’ fave), picked up hot cocoa at Starbucks, and drove to Garrison to walk around and check out the holiday light displays. It was so much fun, and the girls absolutely loved it.

Tom and Liv at Garrison

The girls and me at Garrison

Last year, we drove around to look at lights, and poor P cried most of the time because her reflux was so painful. This year, we could actually walk through the neighborhood, and the whole time, P was pointing, saying, “Light! Light!” and clapping. It’s incredible how much can change in a year.  

Coconut oil peppermint bark. YES, PLEASE.

Collagen in my coffee. My friends at Vital Proteins sent me some of their new vanilla collagen and coconut water, and it is destined for coffee. It dissolves nicely and gives it a pleasant vanilla flavor. 

Collagen and coffee

The hot plate at Tender Greens + a green monster:

Tender greens

This looks hilarious.

Broccoli and parmesan hash brown bake.

Christmas running playlist.

Happy happy Friday, lovely friends.



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  1. Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona on December 16, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Cookie exchanges are always so much fun. And like you said, you look like a rock star when you pull out all the different kinds. Those lights look so pretty.

    • Fitnessista on December 17, 2016 at 11:26 am

      haha exactly! you look like you made all of these amazing creations 😉

  2. Julie on December 16, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Love your whole outfit! (the plaid shirt & red shoes you wore to the cookie exchange) SO CUTE!!!

    • Fitnessista on December 17, 2016 at 11:25 am

      thank you, friend!

  3. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on December 16, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    That cookie party looks crazy good. What a fun idea! And I’ve been on the hunt for a good fragrance for months. Going to check this one out since you always have the best recommendations friend!

    • Fitnessista on December 17, 2016 at 11:25 am

      i hope you love it, too!

  4. Amie on December 16, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    Gina, did you use collagen when u were pregnant w P? Just curious

    • Fitnessista on December 17, 2016 at 11:25 am

      i didn’t – i started it when she was about 4 months old

  5. Amie on December 16, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Btw. . . YOUR HAIR!

    • Fitnessista on December 17, 2016 at 11:25 am

      thank you!!

  6. Amie on December 16, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    So I was looking to buy the vital proteins collagen and noticed the vanilla coconut variety is almost double the price of the original. Is it that much better than the original? Worth double the price??

    • Fitnessista on December 17, 2016 at 11:25 am

      the vanilla has more in it. it has the flavor, but also coconut water, hyaluronic acid and probiotics. you’re getting more with the vanilla, and the taste is beautiful, but yes, it’s expensive. i think try the original and if you love it, go for the vanilla

      • Amie on December 17, 2016 at 11:49 am


  7. Tanya on December 17, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    That plaid

  8. Tanya on December 17, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    That plaid shirt is amazing but out of stock again already!

    • Fitnessista on December 17, 2016 at 10:09 pm

      i saw that!! WAH. i would lurk it- i’m sure they’ll get more in. i was super bummed because they were sold out, and then randomly checked again and they had a ton of sizes

  9. VR on December 17, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Just ordered that perfume! Ever since going vegan I’ve also changed up my perfumes into natural/vegan ones…hope this arrives soon! Pretty excited about the description of the scent 🙂

    • Fitnessista on December 17, 2016 at 10:09 pm

      yay, please let me know what you think! put a little bit on and let it set for about 10 minutes 🙂

  10. Erin @ Erin's Inside Job on December 18, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    I can’t handle all those cookies. It’s like my heaven 🙂 🙂

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