Christmas 2015

Dean celebrated his first Christmas on Friday!

We attended Christmas Eve service at 5pm – It was the “kids’ service” and as Kyle mentioned as we were leaving, it was much more fun than the adult service ;) The church hosted a paper bag pageant and each adult and child were given a prop upon arrival which determined the part they would play in the pageant. Dean, Kyle and I were stars and Dean loved looking at our shiny stars as we sang Silent Night.

I started a Christmas Eve tradition with Dean – Each year we will fill a box with Christmas jammies, a DVD and a book (treats too when he is old enough!). He loved his book and jammies this year and the DVD was more for mama and daddy ;)

We woke up around 7am on Christmas Day and got right to the presents! Dean was a little confused about what to do with the gifts but was excited when he saw all of his new toys, books and clothes. I didn’t keep track of everything he got but a few of the highlights were a water table for our patio, a lot of books, college money, and stuffed animals.

Kyle was a great gift giver and gifted me a gift card for a massage and facial to a local spa that uses wine treatments and a gift card to a Lilly Pulitzer store – Can’t wait to go shopping! I also received a Clarisonic facial brush, wine, wine glasses, and a couple of tops from J. Crew. Kyle got a ton of golfing accessories, a new ski jacket (for our CO trip), a pair of new Birks, and a few gift cards. I know I’m missing a lot of items here but I wasn’t great at making a list this year – I was too busy keeping Dean out of the huge pile of  wrapping paper ;)

After gifts, I made this chocolate-strawberry pancake bake (<– SOOOO good!) and then we hit up the beach!

It was HOT (felt like 92…) here in Naples so the beach was packed. Neither Kyle nor I had any desire to cook a full Christmas meal so we baked up a ham steak, bought Hawaiian bread buns and enjoyed ham sammies and mimosas on the beach. It was the perfect Christmas activity.

Here are a few – okay… A LOT, of photos from our day!

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Friday Favs!

Another Friday?! How are the days passing by so quickly?

Christmastime… I tell ya – It’ll be over in the blink of an eye.

Since last weekend was super low key, we have lots on the plate for the next two days! Tonight I have an Ugly Christmas Sweater party with friends (I still need to find my sweater… Kohl’s maybe?!), on Saturday there is a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Christmas event for the kiddos (I’m hoping it’s as cute as it looks!) and we want to hit up our new fave wine shop, grab lunch out, go to BODYPUMP, etc. Sunday calls for sleeping in (BAHAHAHAHA <– I wish!), BODYPUMP, relaxing, and I feel like we have something else on the agenda – hopefully I remember by then!

What is on your list for the weekend?

Now that we’ve chatted weekend plans, let’s talk about this week’s favorites!

1. My new favorite workout class – HIIT on Thursday afternoons. It’s a new class each week (which I secretly love) and yesterday we did a crossfit-style workout that kicked my butt. Box jumps, sprints, kettlebell swings, burpees… and about a bajillion more things. Plus the room was HOT so I got a nice sweaty detox for the hour as well ;)

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2. This post. Laura is one of my favorite bloggers – Her posts are always well written and provide an intelligent and easy-to-read story that gives her readers something to take away. I’m also fairly certain I owe her an email from 8 months ago (because I am awful at replying to emails!) but she doesn’t hold it against me ;) Bonus points!

Anyways, as a fitness instructor (and fitness-lover) I absolutely agree with her post. I see many different types of people in my classes and almost 100% of the time, my classes are there to improve their bodies. What do you think about her perspective?

3. Yesterday’s announcement. Holy moly am I excited! We have a fun group this time around and I cannot wait to get started.

4. Little Deany crossing his hands while waiting for his zucchini the other night at dinner. Babies can be too cute sometimes! Let’s hope he continues to be this polite as he grows older ;)

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5. CHRISTMAS IS ONE WEEK AWAYYYYYYYYYY!!! Savin’ the best for last ;) Who else is sharing in my excitement?

I hope y’all have a wonderful pre-Christmas weekend – Safe travels to everyone making their way to their Christmas destinations over the weekend and good luck to everyone finishing up their shopping over the weekend… I’m terrified to step into Target today, ha!

Linking up with Katie and Heather for Friday Favorites :)

Weekending

Oh, hi Sunday. We meet again.

I swear the weeks leading up to Christmas pass by faster than any other time of year. Yes?

Since tomorrow is a new week – and Dean’s 7 month birthday (!!!) – Let’s chat the weekend! Spoiler alert – It was SUPER laid back so there isn’t much exciting to report ;)

Dean and I hit up the Y on Friday and he decided he wanted Mama’s Spark after class… It must have been the pretty pink bottle, haha.

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Kyle grilled up steak for Friday dinner and we ended the evening with a family walk… and a sippy cup for me ;) Oh! And Kyle also fixed our outdoor Christmas lights. They weren’t turning on and we couldn’t figure it out… turns out a squirrel (or something) chewed through the wire.

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Saturday morning was GORGEOUS and I grabbed this shot while on my way to teach a morning cycle class.

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Afternoon naps for all – Dean likes to smile during his naps which is only slightly creepy.

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On Saturday night, we headed down to 5th Avenue (Naples’ downtown) to check out the pretty Christmas displays. Dean loved them all and was intrigued by the shiny ornaments and lights.

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Kyle golfed on Sunday morning while I had my normal Sunday morning routine including scouting out all of the ads and coupons (anyone else love the Sunday paper?!)… I also filled up the crockpot with Chicken Cream Cheese Chili so it would be good to go for dinner (I doubled the chicken and added in some black beans this time.) <– It’s one of Kyle’s favorite meals!

I taught my Sunday BODYPUMP class at the Y (I’m subbing tomorrow night too if any of you locals want to get your workout on with me!)…

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… And then came home and whipped up a batch of some deliciousness that I will be sharing later this week!

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We ended tonight lounging in front of the TV – Christmas movies for the win! Elf on the Shelf movie (totally lame but Dean was mesmerized) followed by The Grinch. I loveeeee Christmas movies.

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A total chill, relax around the house weekend and I feel recharged (kinda, LOL) for the week ahead.

How was your weekend? Did you do any fun Christmas activities?

Friday Favs

Well hey there, Fri-yay! Is it just me or did this week FLY by?

The holidays always seem to pass by so quickly now that I’m adult. I remember the minutes dragging by as I patiently waited to open my gifts underneath our Christmas tree. We are trying to savor every moment this year with The Deanster which probably means it will be 2016 in the blink of an eye!

Okay, enough with the sappy writing – Let’s chat my favorites of this week :)

1. The MOPS Drop ‘n Shop event… aka – Mom’s morning out! For $5, all of us mamas could leave our kiddos at the church’s daycare yesterday morning from 9am-12noon. I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself… I got into my car sans baby and had to sit there for a minute to figure out my plan ;) I hit up Target and then got a mani-pedi (something you CANNOT do when you have a baby with you), picked up a sub from Publix and then my 3 hours was up. I’m shocked but apparently Dean did really well in the daycare – he took his bottle AND napped in a crib without crying. Someone needs to teach him that skill for home.

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2. Beginning my Christmas season baking! I made some peanut butter balls (more like globs… they weren’t exactly round LOL) yesterday afternoon and per the normal, I ate too much “dough” to enjoy the final product… Such is life ;)

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3. Treating myself to a new sweater from Zulily. I did a little Christmas shopping with a few Zulily deals and when I saw this sweater, I HAD to get it. The only downfall with their deals is that they can take a while to ship but my order should be here before Christmas and it will (hopefully) be cool here by then – Perfect timing for this sweater.

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4. Sales, sales and more sales! I wasn’t too impressed with the Black Friday offerings this year but I have a 20% coupon to Target that I will be using today (or this weekend) and AdvoCare had a blowout sale earlier this week so I stocked up on discounted Spark. #hecktotheyes

5. Christmas cards – One of my favorite things about the holiday season is sending and receiving cards. I got a good chunk of ours into the mail this week and I think I’m going to get crafty hanging ours around the house this year. Stay tuned!

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6. BODYPUMP 96! Okay, confession. I haven’t actually worked through the entire release yet but I’m sure it’ll be awesome! I plan on doing it once Dean goes to bed (aka – we put him in his crib and he screams) tonight… Any fellow BP instructors want to chime in? What did ya think?

Whatcha up to this lovely Friday and weekend? Today – Off to get Dean’s flu shot, teaching Spin, having a plumber come by to fix our master bath shower (the pressure randomly dropped earlier this week), and meeting up with a mom friend. We have no major plans for the weekend besides bathing Mitchell (that’s all you, Kyle!), hanging a new shade in the bedroom, and BODYPUMP. 

Linking up with Katie and Heather for Friday Favs this week!

Weekending – Christmas Style

Can you weekend for 5 days straight? Well, I definitely did this week and I can’t wait to share it with you via photos.

Christmas Eve began with a sweaty spin class…

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… followed by a snowman cookie for breakfast ;)

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I did up my nails in Jamberry (They’re still on – yay!)…

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… received a pre-Christmas gift from Luna…

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… and baked up some tasty treats!

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The dude decided to bump out for Christmas Eve service… I think it was that snowman cookie (and the 500 other cookies I ate last week…)

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Pre-gift opening Christmas morning…

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… and post-opening, LOL. More deets on Tuesday!

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The rest of Christmas was spent at my aunt and uncle’s (my cousins were there too!) in Tampa. I left my phone in my bag and enjoyed the day so no photos :)

Day after Christmas sluggishness called for lots of Spark to wake up after indulgences!

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Post-BODYPUMP teaching visit to Naples Pier. It was very busy but we saw a dolphin!

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After the pier, we enjoyed dinner at The Boathouse – Location was fab, food was just okay. Check out Kyle’s mega glass of wine, LOL.

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Saturday morning called for kayaking with the manatees. We saw quite a few snouts and two swimming under our kayak!

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Bacon + Brussels sprouts as a pre-dinner snack. #crazysaturdaynight

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Homemade quiche for Sunday brunch!

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Quick grocery store run to stock up on alllll the fruits and veggies!

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Then it was time to teach BODYPUMP – I tried out my new Jawbone too :)

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Followed up by a late lunch/early dinner… Mexican, of course.

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Sunday night ended with fun at the hockey arena. It was definitely colder in there than I remember! #floridawimp

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I hope y’all had a fab Christmas weekend!

What was the best thing you did over the past 5 days?

Friday Favs

Woahhh! Friday? This week flew by for me! Thankfully, I think I finally have everyone’s gifts and Christmas cards in the mail… although I’m fairly certain our post office lost half of our Christmas cards :/ Sorry to any family and friends that didn’t receive them – I promise I sent them at the beginning of the month!

How about some favs from the week?

1. A few of my favorite posts:

  • This post – I have a secret (or not so secret now…) girl crush on Jen. If she lived in Naples, I’d totally make her be my BFF. Now that’s not creepy or anything… Anyways, this post isn’t new but it is one of my favorites!
  • Are you ALL-IN? I am and I’m so freakin’ excited! This is gonna be awesome sauce.
  • Surprise! <– Loved this. It is healthy for 99% of the population so there is no reason to avoid it!
  • This recipe. I made it earlier this week and it is da {spicy} bomb. Dooo ittttt.

2. The StairMaster. Okay, it might suck while I’m on it but holy shiz is it a good (and sweaty) workout! 30 minutes and bam!, you’ve killed your legs. Heck to the yes.

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3. Receiving packages of presents in the mail :) This one was from my mom! I woke up to a glittery-nosed Mitchell the morning after receiving these. He obviously was looking for his present from grandma.

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4. Feeling Mitchell Junior! I started to feel him late last week – At first I was certain it was just food moving it’s way through my bowels (yum…) but after realizing there was a pattern to the internal poking, it dawned on me that it was the little man making his presence known. It feels like a very quick poke on the inside of my lower stomach and he likes to kick/punch/say hello right when I wake up, when I finish working out, and when I get into bed at night. Apparently he enjoys fitness and is both an early bird and a night owl. Great.

5. Christmas is next week. {Did you hear me?!} CHRISTMAS IS NEXT WEEEKKKKKK!!!!!! If anything, MJ is going to inherit my extreme excitement for Christmas (Mitchell definitely has!) – I still wake up super early and run to the tree for gift opening time. It kills me when I have to wait for breakfast, or even worse – Christmas dinner, to be eaten before I can dig into the wrapping paper. Kyle thinks he needs to shower before gift time. He is sorely mistaken. This year, we are heading to my aunt and uncles near Tampa for festivities on Christmas day! We’re excited to see family for the holiday and I finally get to meet my cousin’s baby – yay!

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PS. I’m searching for my onesie from last year ;) I know it is somewhere and I must wear it on Christmas morning!

6. It Sucked and Then I Cried. If you’re a mom, thinking about being a mom, are preggo, or are just in need of a gut-wrenching laugh, you MUST read this book. Heather is freakin’ hilarious and talks about a super important topic (mental illness) in a light-hearted, laugh-until-you-pee-your-pants kind of way. I’m almost done with it and Mitchell looks at me with a very concerned face when I stop for a laugh break every other paragraph.

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Hey mom, what’s so funny? Do you need to pat my head?

I’m linking up with Katie, Heather, and Clare again today to share some of my favorites from the week.

What are your plans for Christmas Day? Or Hanukkah? We totally dropped the ball and forgot to get candles this year so we haven’t lit one yet – oops!

#66 Treat Yourself Tuesday

I survived the post office yesterday – wahoo! The line was crazy long but somehow I made it out in less than 20 minutes. I think the parking lot was actually scarier than the post office itself. I still have one more package to ship… I’m waiting to receive something from Kohl’s (It was supposed to arrive yesterday – annoying!) so I still have to go back but I’m not looking forward to it! But, let’s stay positive here, there could be worse things than standing in line at a post office :)

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Now, for the treats!

Treat Yourself Tuesday Badge

If you’re new to TYT, head over here to read about why I am a supporter and advocate for treating ourselves – even in the smallest of ways – everyday! I promise you will fall in love with the idea and once you do, please link up below :)

Bagelsssss. I think I may have a problem. I rerouted my running plan yesterday so I could conveniently end at my favorite bagel shop here in Naples. They’re just so good… and between my run and walks with Mitchell, I definitely earned that errrrthing bagel and veggie cream cheese! #bagelpregnancy

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Cute doggie clothes for the babe. Kyle and I ran across a Carter store at the outlet mall and we couldn’t resist. Tiny doggie socks?! OMG.

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This cheese. Run to your closest Target and buy 12 blocks. It’s gooooodddd.

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Check out how Influenster (<– referral link so you can join and get free surprises too!) treated me!! I have lots of new goodies to sample :) I’ve heard awesome things about the Candy Cane Lane tea so I’m pumped to give that a try. **I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

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New shoes! Kyle needed a new pair of running/gym shoes so while we were out finishing up our Christmas shopping on Saturday, we ran into the Reebok store. Turns out they were having a buy one pair, get one for $19.99 sale. That meant a pair of shoes for me too – yay!

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Inner Peas. I must not buy these again. I can (and will…) eat an entire bag on the way home from Trader Joe’s. Dangerously good!

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Finally, I found my Jamberry nails! I think I’m going to apply the gold striped ones for Christmas :)

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How’d you treat yourself over the week? Have you tried the Candy Cane Lane tea before?

My 2014 Christmas List

It’s that time of year. You  know, the time of year when mom’s start asking you for Christmas ideas. I don’t know about you, but my mom starts asking at the beginning of September! This was not a problem when I was a little girl, I could rattle off 50 things I wanted in about 5 seconds. Nowadays, however, it is a little bit more difficult.

So,  here ya go mama (and anyone else who is feeling generous and wants to send presents to Naples) – My beloved Christmas list! Please and thank you :)

1. Treasure & Bond // Sweater Dress // White // Small or Medium

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I saw Ashley looking gorgeous in it on Facebook and knew I had to have it. I think it’ll actually be cool enough here in Naples to wear over the winter!

2. lululemon // The Mat // Black

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I will ask for one of these until I get one. I’ve always wanted a soft and squishy lulu yoga mat and am actually in need of a new one this year!

3. Jawbone // UP24 // Onyx

My FitBit is on the down and out. Plus, the Jawbone looks a bit more fashionable, yes?

4. Beats by Dre // Studio // Champagne

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I basically want to be Ms. Lauren Rene Fitness and look super cool at the gym with my Beats on my head, a Spark in one hand and a weight in the other ;) #sparkhead4lyfe

5. Shimano // Bike Shoes // Size 42 // White

Yup, I’m the girl that goes from hating spin to learning to love it in about 4 weeks. My favorite instructor told me that these get you a better workout and my regular tennies don’t fit very well in the shoe holders (or whatever the right word is…).

6. AdvoCare // Spark // Fruit Punch

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A girl can dream for a lifetime supply, right? ;)

7. Tory Burch // Miller Sandal // Black… and Vintage Vachetta // Size 9.5

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They’re so pretty, I need want them in both colors. There is nothing wrong with that, right?!

8. Target // The Divergent Series

Divergent Series Ultimate Four-Book Box Set: Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant, Four (Hardcover)

I already own and have read book one (Divergent) but I want the remaining three! Once I got into Divergent, I raced through it so these would be very welcome on my {already very full} bookshelf.

9. 12 Massages and 12 Facials

One for each month of the year. That sounds dreamy, right?

10. This House // Port Royal

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I mean, it’s only $49M. Plus, it is just under 15,000 square feet and with 5 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms whomever buys this for me could come LIVE with me and I’d probably never know.

What’s on your Christmas list this year? Does anyone want to go halvsies with me on the home in Port Royal?

What ARE you?

Hi, I’m Becky and I’m a human.

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At least I act like one most of the time… as long as I have my Spark or coffee every morning ;)

Between my multiple Instagram posts from everything to Passover to Easter to Christmas to Hanukkah, I’m afraid that I’ve confused y’all when it comes to my religion!

[Insert Religious eCard here. Seriously, I was going to place one here but after Googling, I decided the language wasn’t quite blog-appropriate… Google it and get a good laugh for yourself!]

So, today I thought I’d explain my celebrate ALL the holidays social media posts :)

First things first, I don’t really like to talk religion on my blog or in my personal life. In my {not-so-humble} opinion, religion is a VERY personal matter and what God someone believes in should not determine how you portray them as a person. But to clear things up, I figured that I would share my background (and Kyle’s out of default) – at least as far as it comes to all things religion.

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I’m Christian. (No, not Christian Grey – Don’t you go all 50 Shades on me right now, hehe! ;) ) My mom was raised Methodist and my dad was raised Catholic and my sister and I were raised Lutheran. Same difference, right?!

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(The day I was baptized, I think…)

I was baptized and confirmed and I went to Sunday school and Christian church camp in the summertime. I take communion and I believe that Jesus is our Savior. Kyle and I were married in a Lutheran church and said Christian vows.

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With that being said, I don’t attend church frequently. I do not believe that someone needs to attend a religious service in order to consider themselves religious. Yes, it is nice to connect and have fellowship with others who share the same beliefs as you, but does it make you a better, more religious person? Nope. I believe that there are ways to connect religiously outside of the church walls, and, to me, how you live your life each day matters a heck of a lot more in the long run than the hour you “put in” each week.

And what about Kyle?

Well, he’s also a human… at least as far as I can tell from our {almost} 4 years of marriage!

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Kyle’s story is a little different, kind of… let me explain. He is Christian in all aspects of the word – he was baptized and confirmed and went to Sunday school at least a few times. And believe it or not, he was there when we said our Christian vows… The proof is in the photos, hehe ;)

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The difference is that his mom’s side of the family is Christian and his dad’s side is Jewish. Yep, that’s where my Hanukkah and Passover posts come into play! With Kyle’s family, we celebrate BOTH religions – Christmas and Easter with his mom’s side and Hanukkah and Passover with his dad’s side.

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(Yep, Kyle still gets those looks at family dinners!)

I think some of you figured this situation out (I mentioned it briefly here on ONW around Christmas) because I’ve gotten some emails, comments, and questions – some good and some just plain rude (oddly enough, those were anonymous…), and I’m going to answer a few of them below.

Wait, doesn’t celebrating holidays from multiple faiths make you a hypocrite? Umm… no. (And, as a side note, whoever sent me this question should be smacked! #thatisall) It’s actually been a really great experience for me! I honestly had NO exposure to the Jewish faith until meeting Kyle. I had a general concept of Hanukkah (8 nights with presents and candles!) but that was it… farm country in Iowa isn’t very diverse when it comes to religion… From the moment I met Kyle in 2007, I was welcomed with open arms by both sides of his family and introduced to some really cool traditions that I LOVE celebrating now.

Understanding the multiple faiths that exist in our world does NOT make someone a hypocrite. Accepting different religions and cultures makes you an educated member of society who embraces – rather than discriminates against, the amazing differences in our world.

In addition, learning more about the Jewish faith has refreshed my memory of the Old Testament which is part of the Christian faith. And, my friends, there ain’t no hypocrisy in that!

Will we attend church once we have kids? Probably. Yes. I mean, we don’t have kids yet so it’s hard to know! Our kids will be raised Christian if that better answers the question.

I mentioned to Kyle that I thought it would be cool if our future kids went to Hebrew school along with Sunday school and he gave me the strangest look! I guess that might confuse them, but I think it would be an awesome experience for them to learn about both religions (and learn Hebrew!) while growing up.

How do you manage all of the holidays between both of your families? To be honest, we’re still working on it. Thankfully, both of our families are super understanding and flexible. Sometimes we have plans to go to Iowa to visit my family but then one of us has to work or it snows or something comes up and we can’t make it. When that happens, we show up for Kyle’s family gathering and are always welcomed. We would love to be able to spend more time with everyone, but it is what it is and we do the best we can!

Phew! I think that’s about as much religion talk as I can handle for a week year, so I hope it cleared up my reasoning for celebrating ALL the holidays :)

What holidays do you celebrate? I celebrate ALL of the holidays! #winning

What is your favorite holiday? Christmas, Christmas, and MORE Christmas – I will never get tired of running to the tree to open presents at the speed of light :)

#16 Treat Yourself Tuesday

Happy New Year’s Eve! What are your plans for the evening? Kyle and I are going on a Lake Michigan dinner cruise with friends to celebrate the New Year – I can’t wait to tell you all about it and to show you my dress!

Since it is Tuesday {albeit a Tuesday that falls on a holiday}, I have decided to deem this Treat Yourself Tuesday as the “how others treated YOU” holiday edition because sometimes it is nice to be spoiled by those in our lives :)

Treat Yourself Tuesday Badge

If you’re new to TYT, head over here to read about why I am a firm supporter and advocate for treating ourselves – even in the smallest of ways – everyday! I promise you will fall in love with the idea and once you do, please link up below :)

So what did I get for Christmas?

I already showed you what I got from Kyle – he’s so good with gifts!

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We also booked our “spring break” to Jamaica over the weekend!!! To say I’m mildly excited would be an understatement ;) We worked with a travel agent (Travel Made Real) for the first time and the entire experience was amazing. We (and by we, I mean Kyle) are picky travelers and TMR was able to satisfy each of our requests AND – from what we looked at while attempting to book the trip ourselves – TMR also saved us at least $1000. ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS!

Do you know how many purses and pairs of shoes I can buy with that kinda money?! ;)

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Photo from our trip to Puerto Rico last March!

Anyways, we’re pumped about Jamaica and it will be a great Christmas present to ourselves.

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Both Kyle and I were spoiled this year and received lots of gifts from our parents so I’m not going to list them all out here, just the big ones.

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We got a tagine, a tagine cookbook and spices from my dad – it’s like an African/Middle Eastern slow cooker and is definitely unique! Kyle loves cooking unique recipes and he has already made a tagine Moroccan lamb and vegetable stew.

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From my mom and sister, I got a few new books (one of my resolutions for 2014 is to read more!), a new tote bag, lots of jewelry from Stella & Dot and Erin McDermott, giftcards (yay for Starbucks and Lululemon!) and makeup.

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We told everyone that we didn’t want anything large because we live in a tiny apartment and Kyle’s mom and grandparents did an awesome job on finding gifts that fit that description! His grandparents gave us a membership to the Chicago Architecture Foundation that provides tours in and around Chicago – we can’t wait to check out our new city once it warms up a bit :)

Kyle’s mom gave us a gift card for a few cooking classes at a nearby restaurant, an IOU for brunch and stainless steel “ice” cubes that won’t water a drink down <– great for white wine that you forgot to put in the fridge!

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And since it is called Treat Yourself Tuesday, I can’t do an entire post about telling you how I treated myself over Christmas “break.” On Christmas Eve, I treated myself to a deep-tissue massage! It was needed in a bad way – my shoulders and upper back were so tense – and it was a great way to relax over a stressful holiday season.

How did others treat you over your holiday break? How did you treat yourself over Christmas?

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