Graduation Night

Good morning, friends! How are you? Hope you’re having a happy Monday <3

Last night, before meeting up with the fam for family dinner, we took a baby meal over to a friend’s house. In the squadron, whenever someone has a baby, the wives sign up to take baby meals every other night for the first month or so. This way, the couple doesn’t have to worry about cooking in addition to caring for their new little one. This is especially helpful in the military, because we’re often stationed far away from family without extra help. [We hit the jackpot with our current station, and are very thankful]

Since I know they enjoy Mexican food, I stopped at a local panadería (bakery) to grab some pumpkin and apple empanadas and chips.


Made a giant batch of the Pioneer Woman’s salsa –so we’d have extra to have here at home- and steamed some tamales from our family tamale guy. [My mom meets him at the Albertson’s by her house every week to pick up the tamales and pay. We call him the tamale dealer, and his tamales are the best we’ve ever had]


Packed up beans that had been cooking in the slow cooker all day + cilantro-lime rice:

rice and beans

and went to drop it off at their house.

We got to chat for a second, see the baby, who is 3 weeks old and absolutely precious, and then went to meet the family at Zinburger for family dinner.

An intimate party of 20 went to celebrate my little bro’s graduation 🙂


My brother the cheffer has worked full-time since he’s been in college to get his culinary arts degree – he graduated this summer. Since they weren’t going to have a ceremony to walk until next summer –walking is optional- when his diploma was delivered to my mom’s house, she got it framed and decided we’d celebrate early. We’re really proud of him <3

For dinner, the Pilot ordered some double truffle fries –which I *borrowed* a couple of…


We shared the roasted chicken salad, minus the roasted chicken, which had greens, pomegranates, goat cheese, marcona almonds, and a poppy seed dressing:


and for my burger, I enjoyed the veggie burger, sans bun, goat cheese instead of mozzarella.


[Not usually a ketchup fan, but ketchup is AMAZING when it’s freshly made]

Madre also brought an enormous chocolate cake:


It was a very good night 🙂


We went out to eat way more than usual this weekend, and while it will feel good to be back in a routine this week, it was an amazing weekend.

I’m off to the gym and then getting started on the Monday to-tos!

Have a great day <3



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  1. maggie on October 17, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Awww congrats to him! Pumpkin and apple empanadas? You soooo need to make a recipe of your own!! They sound amazing.


    • Fitnessista on October 17, 2011 at 12:20 pm

      i’ve made them before, but didn’t have time yesterday. will post a recipe when i do!

  2. Julie on October 17, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Apple and pumpkin empanadas sound AMAZING. I’ll have to go by some panaderias to see if they have any!

  3. Ashley on October 17, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    I really wish we could’ve been there. We’re all so proud of that cheffer. 🙂

  4. Sara K on October 17, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Double truffle fries? I really dig the Pilot’s food preferenes 🙂
    And what a wonderful idea to rotate with the baby meals!

    • Sara K on October 17, 2011 at 12:21 pm


  5. Ellie@fitforthesoul on October 17, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    woww you’re looking so great Gina, for reals! And congrats to your brother. I think it’s so cool he’s into culinary stuff! And say no more about the tamales and rice…they look sooo good…

  6. Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine on October 17, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Congrats to your bro!

    And that bottom photo is completely adorable. 🙂

  7. RachelG on October 17, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    You look so fresh and soon to be mom glow-ey in that last picture! 🙂

  8. Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food on October 17, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    When I have a baby, I’m going to call you so that you can bring me that tamale dinner! Yum!

    • Fitnessista on October 17, 2011 at 12:26 pm

      hahah sounds good!

  9. Danielle on October 17, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Congrats to your brother! Looks like a wonderful evening.

  10. kris on October 17, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    You and your fam are so gorgeous! What a beautiful weekend, doll!!


  11. Elizabeth @ reads recipes runs on October 17, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    How fun!! I totally love the “husband with hand on pregnant belly” shot!

  12. Rhiannon on October 17, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Congrats to your brother! What an accomplishment by itself, let alone working full-time in the process!! That deserves major congrats. And what a cute picture of you and the Pilot. You guys look like a celeb couple I’d see in People! 😉

  13. Liz @ Southern Charm on October 17, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    What a great idea and a great support system! Hearing that is so touching!

  14. Ali @ Peaches and Football on October 17, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Congratulations Kyle! Graduation is so exciting!

    I love the idea of helping with meals for newborn families. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to transition and get food on the table – especially if they already have little ones running around. talk about chaos! I am sure they greatly appreciated your food, it looked delicious!

  15. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on October 17, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Congrats to your bro! That’s such a great accomplishment. And I love that you guys have a group of squadron friends to make/receive dinners for/from when babies arrive! What a great way to support each other. Have a great day Gina!

  16. Anna @ On Anna's Plate on October 17, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Congrats to your bro!!!

    And what a nice set-up, having dinner brought every other night– especially if you have no family nearby!

  17. em on October 17, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Would you mind posting how you slow cook your dry beans either blk or pinto ? And how you flavor them?
    I’m not good w this stuff and love tried and true recipes. I’m not creative in the cooking are ..

  18. Amanda- The Nutritionist Reviews on October 17, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Those truffle fries look great! My husband’s family makes tamales and they are excellent but tons of hard work go into them!

  19. Amber on October 17, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    The tamale dealer….love it! I am frequently printing out your workouts these days and taking them to the gym with me. Keep up the great work!!!

  20. Krystina (Organically Me) on October 17, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Congrats to your bro! And that salad sounds amazing.

  21. heather on October 17, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    I think the squadron support system sounds amazing, that’s awesome of you guys to take such good care of each other. I was just I curious how open you are with others about your eating habits. Since it will be your turn soon… are you going to tell the wives not to even cook for you if it includes x,y, and z? are you concerned its going to be gluten + cow cheese + red meat filled dinners? How do you approach the subject politely? I’m even having a hard time wording my question lol

  22. Amanda on October 17, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Congrats to your brother! I’ve only had tamales a couple of times, but they’ve unfortunately been only so-so. Does your dealer ship to Boston? 😉

  23. Laura @ Backstage Balance on October 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Congratulations to your brother! Looks like a fun celebration, and – wow – that cake…

  24. Jessica on October 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Although, your blog regularly I rarely comment. I just wanted to tell you that it is great to see you and your husband doing so well. I am excited to keep reading posts about the new baby girl. I will try to post more regularly and comment, because I get such enjoyment out of reading.

    • Fitnessista on October 17, 2011 at 4:56 pm

      thank you so much for saying hi 🙂 xoxo

  25. Emily @ Glitz Glam Granola on October 17, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    How sweet that you made that family such a delicious Mexican feast! I’m sure they really appreciate it!! And that sounds like a great graduation celebration! That picture of you and the pilot is so cute! Def a framer!

  26. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on October 17, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Congrats to your bro!

    The double truffle fries, the cake, the PW Salsa, it all looks awesome. And best of all, you were with your family. I know how close you all are and I’m sure it was tons of fun just being together 🙂

  27. mi-an d. on October 17, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    just wanted to state that i just purchased goat gouda at tj’s today and i just wanna eat the whole block!
    p.s. 9 lbs down so far!! 🙂 goal is 20…oct goals are happenin by eating really really good! maybe shouldn’t eat the whole block of goat gouda huh.. 🙂

  28. Tiffany on October 17, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    That meal you guys brought over looks amazing. I love empanadas, especially pumpkin. Military families are definitely very supportive in that aspect, in our neighborhood people are very helpful as well. Great picture of you guys, can’t wait to have my husband home for him to touch my “belly” for the first time, when I last saw him at 12 weeks, there was no belly yet, hehe.

  29. Moni'sMeals on October 17, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    all the food sounds so good, you are so nice to your friends. 🙂

    Congrats your bro!

  30. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on October 17, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Congrats to your brother! How exciting! Hopefully he can cook lots for you and the Pilot after the baby is born now! And that veggie burger and fries looks delicious! Reading blogs hungry is never a good idea!

  31. Katie on October 17, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Congrats to your brother and HOLY cake!! haha! Love it!

  32. Lena @Fit on the Rocks on October 17, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Congrats to your brother! My little brother graduates from high school next year. It’s crazy how the time flies.

  33. Leslie Wingate on October 17, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    What a great weekend! 🙂

  34. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on October 17, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Congrats to your brother! I don’t know why he looks so scared of the cake though… I would have started digging in by the time that picture was taken. 😉 It looks delicious!

  35. Pam on October 17, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    That’s a great tradition to cook for the military families when they have a new baby! My brother will be joining the Marines as an officer after he graduates in the Spring. Great to know military is super supportive!
    Congrats to your brother!!
    Great picture of you and the Pilot!

  36. Pure2raw twins on October 17, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    congrats to your brother! wishing him all the best

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