O Christmas Shrub

Hi guys! HAPPY FRIDAY! Sorry to disappear on ya last night… it was just one of those nights where I had to unplug from technology and enjoy a lovely 2 hour episode of Private Practice with the puppers 😉

Yesterday afternoon, some of the wives and I decorated this


What is it?!?!

Yes, that’s a Christmas Tree. We were all laughing because it looks like a giant shrub. The commander’s wife (who makes cookies that will melt your soul) made some cookies and took them to a Christmas tree farm, so they gave us that tree to use at the pilots’ squadron for free.

I have to say given the ummm, canvas we had to use, the tree came out quite lovely.



Not too bad, right???

It’s pretty cool because each of the square ornaments are wood blocks with sepia-toned pictures of guys in the squadron and their families. There’s a great variety of pics: goofy, cute  and sentimental.

These are the ones I sent in for the pilot and I:

tom and i


Heh heh.

While we were at the squadron, we also wrapped door prize gifts for the Christmas party –ugly Christmas sweater themed- that we’re having next weekend.

My pilot was a gentleman and made us some HOGCORN to snack on.


I’ve told ya’ll about hogcorn before, but for the new readers (hiiiiii!) it’s popcorn that’s popped with jalapenos. The popcorn is extra spicy and the jalapenos are crunchy. In other words = foodgasm.

Jeni and I didn’t end up having our Indian feast since we were at the squadron for a while, so I came home and had a quick lunch:


(spiralized zucchini with marinara sauce, raw goat cheddar and basil)

then I was off to the gym for 4 more training appointments (I had 5 yesterday on top of the usual shenanigans) – I snuck in a half hour elliptical workout in between training 😀 ***snack was an un-photographed yet delicious raw foods bar

When I got home, I was a little on the exhausted side, so after a dip into the almond butter jar and some Mary’s Crack, I made some dinner 😉



Sweet potato with Herdez and cilantro:



Well I’m off to meet Jeni for weights, but wanted to say hello and thank you for your amazing comments yesterday. Whenever I need to vent, ya’ll hit me with a flood of sweet and uplifting words and I hope you know how much I truly appreciate all of you <3

See ya this afternoon!

Much love,


Something to do: Last day to ENTER THE CHIA SEED GIVEAWAY! I’m extending the deadline until 5 PM EST (because that’s when I get off work, haha) so if you haven’t entered already, dooooo it 😀 3 lbs of chia seed goodness could be yours 🙂

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  1. Jessica @ How Sweet It Is on December 4, 2009 at 10:40 am

    I think the ‘tree’ looks so pretty! I love that you guys decorated it. I can’t imagine the million of woman being away from their hubby’s at Christmas. Have you ever been away from the Pilot on Christmas? I have only been reading a few months so I wasn’t sure. My heart breaks just thinking about it. 🙁

    • Fitnessista on December 4, 2009 at 12:14 pm

      yup, he’s missed all of the holidays at least twice, including two christmases

  2. Sana on December 4, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Heheheh! you guys did a lovey job with that tree!!!!

  3. Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries on December 4, 2009 at 10:48 am

    OMG hoghorn!? I’m enticed!! How do you pop it?

  4. rhodeygirl on December 4, 2009 at 10:50 am

    That is the funniest little tree I’ve ever seen. Great job decorating it- I love it.

  5. Whit on December 4, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Oh I love it!

    You and the pilot are just the cutest + funnest [not a word] couple I have about ever seen! 😀

  6. Jordan @ Salt Sweat Sugar on December 4, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Wow, you really made that shrub look nice. I was having very grim thoughts after that first picture. Hahah.

  7. VeggieGirl on December 4, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Haha your post title made me laugh out loud just now 😀

    Cute photo of you two!

    Have fun with Jeni!

  8. Paige (Running Around Normal) on December 4, 2009 at 11:03 am

    Awwwe I love the little Christmas shrub! Haha so cute. And that picture of the pilot is hilarious!!

  9. ashley on December 4, 2009 at 11:08 am

    I def. need to know how you pop the popcorn with jalapeños – do you do it on the stove? with butter?

  10. Lita on December 4, 2009 at 11:13 am

    I’m curious as to how you make hogcorn as well. It sounds amazing!! Is it just me or does the pilot look like a mixture of John Krasinski and Michael Buble?

    • Fitnessista on December 4, 2009 at 12:07 pm

      whoa i’ve never thought of that! he does kind of look like them 😀
      i always joke that he looks like dick van dyke. he really does, though 😉

  11. Carolyn on December 4, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Love the tree!! I’m gonna have to search out the directions for hogcorn. Sounds yummy!

  12. Pam on December 4, 2009 at 11:25 am

    Nice tree!


  13. Lauren @ Eater not a runner on December 4, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Haha love the “shrub”… the jalapeno popcorn sounds scary to me though!

  14. Vanessa (Last Night's Leftovers) on December 4, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Cute shrub!

  15. Julie @savvyeats on December 4, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Your tree/shrub is beautiful.

    I don’t think I’ve ever told you before how strong and awesome you are. Dan’s brother is in the Air Force, and I don’t know how his wife does it. I don’t think I would be able to handle having Dan be gone for such long stretches of time, not knowing if he is safe. You are strong. You are awesome!

    • Fitnessista on December 4, 2009 at 12:13 pm

      wow, thanks girl 😀
      it’s no fun but i’m lucky to have my family and amazing friends and blog friends… oh and puppies 😉

  16. Lisa on December 4, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    That hogcorn does sound good. I tried your egg trick in the micro. this morning; it worked perfect. Had it on some toast w/ cheese and Herdez. (That salsa is the best.)

  17. Whitney @ Lettuce Love on December 4, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Haha LOVE the tree/shrub! That is by far the best tree I have ever seen 🙂

  18. K on December 4, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    I had a technology free Thursday evening as well – loved it! That Christmas shrub is great! I love the decorations. Sepia toned is my favorite photo effect!

  19. Erica on December 4, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    haha- I love the tree. I’m actually a big fan of sort of strange looking trees. I think you guys did a great job with it. I want some hogcorn – sounds freaking awesome. Hope you are enjoying your friday

  20. Trina on December 4, 2009 at 12:57 pm


    • Fitnessista on December 4, 2009 at 12:59 pm

      i responded.. and then deleted.

  21. Fitnessista on December 4, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    hey zaineb,
    i’m going to delete your comment because it was unkind and does not facilitate healthy discussion.
    i do what’s best for me, and if you don’t like it, don’t read my blog.
    maybe try some yoga? i heard it helps reduce quickness to judge

  22. Good Taste. Healthy Me on December 4, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    hahaha that “tree” cracked me up!

  23. chrysta on December 4, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Love the tree! That was so nice of ya’ll to do that! That popcorn idea is great. I love popcorn and spicy foods. I have an air popper though=/ Do you make this on the stove top? It sounds delicious! Anyways I hope you have an amazing day!! Loved the pics too=)

  24. borntocare on December 4, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    GINA– I love jalapenos and i love popcorn! Can you please post a how-to for the hogcorn? Looks soooo good!
    Your shrub is beautiful; that’s so sweet of all the wives to get together and work on little projects like that. Props to you and the pilot for being such a strong and loving couple!
    Saw your tweets this morning– it just blows me away how lame people can be sometimes. I hope you get things sorted out!
    Oh, and I hope you get your Indian food fix soon 😛

  25. brittney on December 4, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    I would also like to learn more about how to pop hogcorn. Just thrown sliced jalapenos in there?

    Thanks, Gina, for all the great ideas.

  26. Katie on December 4, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    I am a popcorn fanatic!

    Do you make it on the stove?!!?!?!?

    Check out my blog if you have a chance! Giveaways and workout music!



  27. Janna on December 4, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Aw what a cute shrub.

    That pic of the pilot is hilarious!!!

  28. amanda@thegrainsofparadise on December 4, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Awe….I think the tree is cute:-)

  29. Suzanne on December 4, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    I watched your vid!!! thanks so much for posting the link. Do you ever dance or workout in your dreams? I do sometimes. Sometimes it’s really fun and i can do stuff that I could never do in real life, but other times I wake up feeling exhuasted and when the latter is the case, my boyfriend informs me that I have been flailing about in my sleep. weird.

  30. Cara (Cara Craves...) on December 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Thanks for the reminder about Private Practice; I must still check that out. Double episode? Awesome!

  31. Sarah on December 4, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    Your tree is too cute! I bet my husband would like the hogcorn, he’s always looking for spicy stuff 🙂

  32. Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg on December 4, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Love the tree!! It has character 🙂

  33. Amy on December 4, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Gina- Please Please Please share the HOGCORN recipe!!! I am addicted to popcorn and all things spicy! I want to make it soon!!!


  34. Shelby on December 4, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    I just had popcorn with chili powder, pepper flakes, and hot sauce! I’ll have to try hogcorn next 🙂

  35. Pure2Raw Twins on December 4, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    We watched private practice last night too!!! Love the tree! And we love that pic of you and the pilot! 🙂

  36. Brittany on December 4, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    I think the shrub turned out quite lovely.

    I love your outfit in the photo with the pilot. I have to ask- is it a once piece dress or a skirt and top?

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