The best medicine

Hi friends <3 Thank you so much for all of your lovely comments on yesterday’s post. It means so much to us, and we appreciate your love as we continue on. It’s always going to be weird no longer having her here, but I’m blessed to have someone to miss this much.

During this time, family has definitely been the best medicine


Sleeping girl

…the abundance of Mexican food hasn’t hurt, either πŸ˜‰

Tamale  1 of 1 3

So I have to tell you guys about this soup. I put it on the meal plan for this week, but since Livi and I were going to head over to nana’s right after her nap, I knew I wouldn’t have time to make a multi-step meal right before heading over. So, I steamed half the butternut squash, mashed it, browned the chicken, and put everything in the slow cooker. Set on high for four hours and it was PERFECTION. (Forgot to mention that I waited to add the kalamata olives and chopped parsley until it was finished, and shredded the chicken then.) I took the slow cooker over to nana’s house for the fam, and we all enjoyed it. I can’t wait to make this recipe again! 

Soup  1 of 1 12

(Plus, it has everything the Pilot loves: squash AND quinoa! Heh heh)

Today, Livi and I are braving the post office to send out gifts, then making some wreaths and cookies together. We’ve having a little cookie decorating party this weekend, and I wanted to make some cute cookie takeout boxes for everyone to take home with them. 

On the menu:

Sugar cookies (to decorate- already frozen and ready to go)

Candy cane kiss cookies (if I can stop eating those dang kisses from the pantry)

Chocolate flourless cookies

Mexican wedding cookies <— just typing that makes me salivate. LOVE

And now I feel like I must tell you all about the time that we were living in Valdosta and I had the grand idea to make pizzelles for everyone in the family. If you’ve never heard of pizzelles, they’re a flat, crispy, Italian wafer cookie, and we often enjoy them over the holidays. I made a TON of them, boxed them up hot, and shipped them out. It wasn’t until I realized later what a soggy mess they must have been when they arrived. It’s the thought that counts, right?

Are you baking this weekend? Anything fun or new that you’re trying?

Any holiday baking mishaps?? (I love hearing about these haha)

Time for a spin and strength session in the garage πŸ™‚ See ya later today on the Fashion page!



Post Navigation:


  1. Ali G on December 19, 2013 at 10:42 am

    I’m hoping the next couple of days are filled with baking. I want to be able to give our Christmas gathering hosts some baked goods! The plan is to bake strawberry blondies, Starbucks cranberry bliss bars, and family favourite rainbow cookies. I can’t wait!
    Merry Christmas everyone!!

    • Fitnessista on December 19, 2013 at 10:45 am

      cranberry bliss bars!! how could i forget about those?! needs to happen haha

      • Heather J on December 19, 2013 at 11:36 am

        In case you want at “tested and loved” recipe, I used this one for my cookie tins. They turned out excellently!

        (After reading the comments, I used less sugar in the icing and subbed orange juice for the lemon juice. I also added orange zest).

        • Fitnessista on December 19, 2013 at 2:38 pm

          happening. thank you!

  2. Britt on December 19, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Family is the best thing at a time like this. My whole family (all 35 of us) were at my house the night before my grandfathers funeral. The love, warmth and laughter was amazing. We cried together, laughed together and made memories. My love goes out to your whole family!

    My mom makes the greek version of the wedding cookies. basically the same thing. I can’t eat any less than 5 at a time!

    • Fitnessista on December 19, 2013 at 10:46 am

      they’re so good! <3 xo

  3. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on December 19, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Have fun baking cookies! We’re probably done for the year, we have more cookies than we know what to do with!

    • Fitnessista on December 19, 2013 at 10:45 am

      always a good problem to have πŸ˜‰

  4. Colleen on December 19, 2013 at 10:44 am

    I have chewy molasses cookies and chocolate peppermint bark cookies on my todo list this weekend!

    My worst baking mishap was making brownies. I had put all the dry ingredients into my kitchenaid mixer, which was not plugged in. I plugged it in, without realizing the speed was turned all the way up to high. I had a cocoa explosion all over my kitchen — it was in the light fixtures, all my canisters, in the drawers, EVERYWHERE!

    • Fitnessista on December 19, 2013 at 10:46 am

      i looooooove peppermint bark. i think i’m going to cheat this year and buy it at costco, though.
      OH NO! haha

    • Britt on December 19, 2013 at 10:47 am

      This made me laugh so hard!!!!!!!!!! I had a similar experience. except it was all over my face and the counter! I looked like a ghost!

  5. Paige @ Your Trainer Paige on December 19, 2013 at 10:55 am

    I have most definitely found solace in Mexican food before…especially tamales πŸ™‚ So sorry for your loss, Gina.

  6. Lauren @ Focused To Be Fit on December 19, 2013 at 10:56 am

    I love crockpot meals – so easy. I’m cooking Friday night! White chocolate cranberry cookies, sugar cookies and red and green M&M cookies. Yum! I can’t wait!

  7. Jackie on December 19, 2013 at 11:02 am

    The first year I dated my boyfriend I wanted to make him cookies from scratch. Little did I know I was mixing the ingredients in the popcorn bowl my family used while I was away at college. Enter nasty tasting popcorn chocolate chip cookies. I went to the store that night and bought premade ones. It’s Been a running joke ever since!

  8. Ashlee@HisnHers on December 19, 2013 at 11:05 am

    I love the idea of mashing half of the butternut. I’m sure it gives it a great texture. Thanks for sharing that!

  9. Becky@TheSavedRunner on December 19, 2013 at 11:15 am

    I’m going to try that soup! I love baking at this time of year! I plan on baking some white chocolate popcorn and pretzels and trying a new cake ball recipe this weekend!

  10. Julie @ Better Life with Burgers on December 19, 2013 at 11:23 am

    I always love baking and giving cookies or treats around the holidays, but I feel like everyone receives too many edible gifts. :-/ Once I baked cookies for the secretaries at my school and later found them in the garbage–I guess it traumatized me! So I usually just bake for close family and folks who have specifically mentioned a favorite treat.

    • Fitnessista on December 19, 2013 at 11:35 am

      oh no!! that would traumatize me, too.
      i figure you can aways freeze them.. it’s nice to have cookies in the freezer when you want one πŸ™‚

  11. Maria on December 19, 2013 at 11:38 am

    I just make some oatmeal twinkles last night for a cookie exchange and the first batch turned out FLAT as pancakes!! #cookiefail I played around with the recipe measurements and the rest of them were a success.

  12. Kristen on December 19, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    When my husband and I were dating and getting pretty serious, I got freaked out and broke things off with him. Not long after that, I went to cook dinner for my parents and I made some cornbread. When it came out of the oven, I was going to put a little butter on top. That “little bit” of butter turned into no telling how much because I was so upset and in deep thought about what I’d just done that I wasn’t paying attention to the butter or cornbread. I just kept piling it on. It was so buttery that it wasn’t even edible! To this day, my parents and hubs still talk about that.

  13. Julie on December 19, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    I’ve done a lot of cookie baking but never did pizelles. I do want to make some Mexican wedding cookies though. I like super soft cookies, but I also love crunchy ones.

  14. Julie on December 19, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Completely and totally agree with this post Gina! I lost my Aunt in June, and we vacationed with my extended family at the end of July- it was the perfect way to celebrate her life somewhere she loved (the beach) and be together making fun memories with my son πŸ™‚ Hugs to you and your family.

    On a side note, I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who can’t stop eating Candy Cane Kisses haha!

    • Fitnessista on December 19, 2013 at 2:39 pm

      i ate 3 as a opened my computer right now haha

  15. Stella G on December 19, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    I’m spending all day tomorrow baking! Here’s the list I hope to get through (wish me luck!).

    1) Rum Balls
    2) Marshmallows (regular & peppermint)
    3) Nutella Fudge
    4) Gingerbread (mini-houses & stars)
    5) Red & Green M&M chocolate chip
    6) Oatmeal Raisin
    7) Peppermint Patty brownies
    8) Jojo Bark
    9) Mexican wedding cakes
    10) PB Blossoms
    11) Buckeyes
    12) Linzer Cookies

    Are you going to use almonds for your mexican wedding cakes? My recipe calls for walnuts, but I’ve tried pecans too!

    • Fitnessista on December 19, 2013 at 2:39 pm

      WOW?! need a taste tester? livi and i will be right over πŸ˜‰
      i prefer walnuts but i have made them with almonds too

  16. Anna on December 19, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Family is the best thing πŸ™‚

    The second photo is really nice!

    • Fitnessista on December 19, 2013 at 5:52 pm


  17. Jennifer on December 19, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Another lovely family post. Biggest baking mishap – a loaf of banana nut bread, cooked on the outside…..but completely raw dough in the middle. Gah. Story ends with my sneaky black lab eating it off the counter while I changed the laundry. Apparently she didn’t mind πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on December 19, 2013 at 5:50 pm

      oh no! how does that happen?!
      haha that reminds me of vies. she ate an entire yellow cake once!

  18. Livi on December 19, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    my mom and I have lots of baking on the schedule for this weened! we’re having a dessert party Sunday night!

    • Fitnessista on December 19, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      fun! sunday night is a great night for a dessert party πŸ™‚

  19. Beks on December 19, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Not baking, per se, but I will be working on whiskey salted caramels. I’m making them for my family stocking stuffers, so hopefully they turn out. It’ll be my first time making a non-chocolate based candy.

    As for actual baking, I’m kind of over it. My sis is the HR supervisor at Menards here in town (Big Hardware store), and she made all of her employees sugar cookies. 5 actual batches of sugar cookie dough, and it made about 300 cookies. I’m EXHAUSTED! Tonight, we decorate. *faints*

    • Fitnessista on December 19, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      those sound amaaaaaazing
      i would be over it after 300 cookies too haha. WOW

  20. melissa on December 19, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    I would love for you to give more strength workouts… like what you do in your garage these days? I so often skip a workout or just do cardio because I can’t make up at-home strength workouts myself.

  21. Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate on December 19, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    I’m continuing to send my thoughts and love your way! Family really is the best medicine. And I haven’t baked any Christmas cookies yet this year (gasp) so I need to get on that.

  22. Jody on December 19, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    The crockpot recipe looks delish! Did you cook the quinoa before putting in the crockpot??

    • Fitnessista on December 19, 2013 at 8:51 pm

      Nope- rinsed and added it uncooked!

  23. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun on December 19, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Family really is the best medicine. I cannot wait to go home in 2 days to see mine!

  24. Debbi on December 19, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Shhh, I bought my daughter a pizzelle maker for Christmas. I just shipped it to San Diego.

    • Fitnessista on December 20, 2013 at 10:35 am

      whoo hoo! she’ll love it πŸ™‚

  25. Karissa on December 19, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    This is actually my Christmas baking weekend!! πŸ™‚ I’m making chocolate chip cookies and gingerbread right now (ahem, gingerbread courtesy of TJ’s), Mississippi mud bars, pumpkin bread, sugar cookies…. I think that’s mostly it lol!!
    I’m going to send some to my hubby, take some to work, and probably indulge more than I should. :-p
    The crockpot recipe looks delicious, thanks for sharing!

    • Fitnessista on December 20, 2013 at 10:35 am

      DUDE. that sounds amazing!

  26. Carrie on December 20, 2013 at 2:18 am

    Making the best lemon drizzle cake ever…..until taking a huge bite and realising we used salt in the drizzle not sugar. Big woops! Gorgeous photos and I love the Pilot’s tie. Family is always the best xxx

    • Fitnessista on December 20, 2013 at 10:34 am

      haha i’ve totally done that before! also used cumin instead of cinnamon once… disaster!
      thank you!

  27. Laura B at FitMamaLove on December 20, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Kalamata olives in soup? Sounds amazing! Not a big fan if baking cookies, but we do dugar cookies in Christmas Eve to leave for Santa.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.