Due to the coronavirus problem many people living in departments cannot leave their homes. This lock-up situation over days or weeks has a negative effect on the health of our seniors and other people, too. This situation which has brought the coronavirus to our world is or will be a part of our wellbeing. Without…

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walking on a daily bases

Dear Visitor, I know you heard enough on a daily basis similar to this, but I felt it was important to let you know about the crucial global crisis through the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. It’s important for everyone to do their bit in tackling this global emergency. In many parts of the world, countries are…

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We had a wonderful Christmas back in my hometown of Hillsborough!!  It was both exhausting and relaxing.  Exhausting because being away from home these days is tiring and the girls didn’t sleep all that well, but relaxing because there were grandparents and cousins to provide endless entertainment.

The weather was gorgeous on the 24th, and we went to a local park for playing and exercise.

My dad took my sister and me shopping for cowboy boots at a local shop on Christmas Eve and it was so much fun.  I didn’t really need new boots, but my dad loves supporting local friends so I was happy to help:) There was a huge boot room and I ended up picking a pair of black boots because I already have a honey colored pair from college. There were so many options and many of the vintage boots are offered at awesome prices.

Matt’s parents arrived on Christmas Eve, and we all headed to my parents church for the kids service before a feast of pulled pork, brisket, and all the fixin’s from Hillsborough BBQ.

And this incredible cookie cake from Milk Mustache Cookies in Charlotte. When I found out they make GF cookie + buttercream cakes, I knew I had to find an occasion to buy one!

We were all tired by the time the kids went to bed, but we had more work to do (winky emoji).

Emerson and Mazen shared a room for the first time, and I think they woke each other up on Christmas morning.  When I woke up around 8, they had already opened their stockings. Emerson also got a Belle costume from Mazen and it was by far her favorite gift!

Avery was thrilled with her new shaker eggs, whale, bottle and more paci’s, and got some great toys from Grammie.

We had Christmas brunch with quiche, mimosas, and fruit, and then exchanged our annual Elfster secret Santa gifts.

My mom had me and I had Matt!!

I’m the proud new owner of pink All Birds!

We said goodbye to my sister’s family, and then I took an epic nap while the rest of the crowd (minus my mom) went to the movies.

We had champagne + a cheese plate for cocktail hour – love this family tradition of always gathering before dinner to hang out.

Matt and I helped my mom prepare Christmas Dinner.  We decided to skip the ham this year and tried a new mushroom & goat cheese stuffed chicken breast recipe.

Corn pudding + brandied pears + burned green beans (my fault).

And Matt’s mom made cheesecake for dessert!

Now we are back in Charlotte and gearing up (down?) for a very low key New Year’s.  Matt’s finishing out the last few days of work and is then on paternity leave (his company’s new policy goes into effect Jan. 1) for the month of January!!!!  I don’t think this has really set in yet – so excited!!!

Thanks for following along on such an amazing year!!

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Hi friends! Happy New Years Eve! What are you up to this evening? I’m excited to take the girls to a Noon Years Eve party (more my style than staying up until midnight) and Meg is going to be my dinner date since both our hubbies are working. Later tonight, I’m really looking forward to watching the ball drop on TV and hanging out with the crew. It should be low-key and perfect. 

Since it’s prime time for resolutions and goal setting, I thought I’d share some tips as we brainstorm any New Years changes or resolutions. While I don’t love the pressure of an ambiguous date, I do love the fresh feel of a new year. I especially love the fresh feel of this year because it’s ended on kind of a blah note. I’m really looking forward to a shiny new start and chance to shake off the shadows that have been around for the last few months. It feels so amazing to take out my planner, jot down ideas and goals and start to fill the pages. 

While I don’t think you need to wait until New Years to make a change – if you want to go after something, do it now! – I thought I’d share some tips to consider as you’re planning your goals.

Tips for smart New Years resolutions:

Maybe you don’t want to change anything, and that’s AMAZING. This time of year, we’re often flooded with messaging that makes us feel like we NEED to change or that we’re “less than.” You’re absolutely perfect the way you are. If what you’re doing is working, and you’re happy and fulfilled, keep doing your thang. Don’t feel like you have to make a resolution or any drastic changes because everyone else is doing it!

Instead of focusing on subtracting from your routine, think about adding. I feel like a lot of resolutions are centered around deprivation, which can set you up for a feeling of failure. (Really it also just sucks the fun out of life.) Also, what makes you want something more than anything? Telling yourself you can’t have it. Instead of taking things away from your routine, think about what you can add. More vegetables on your plate, more meditation minutes, more time outside, more memories with the people you love, more soul fulfillment, more reading, etc. What can you do MORE of this year for a happier, healthier you? 

Don’t make changes you don’t want to sustain indefinitely. If it doesn’t make you excited, don’t do it! If you’re doing something that you don’t want to do forever, it’s not worth it. Aim for lifestyle changes you can implement for the long haul. 

For fitness resolutions, make sure they’re SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Goals should be achievable within a certain time frame and make sense for your lifestyle. Be sure to crosstrain (don’t do the same thing every day), take rest days, fuel yourself appropriately, and get proper guidance and coaching to avoid injury.

Enlist a buddy, or someone who knows what you’re up to. I don’t share all of my goals with everyone – that would be annoying because I have a new one pretty much every day – but a select few people in my life know what I’m up to and check in with me. Have someone join you on your goals, or even just share your goals with someone you love that will be cheering for you.

Are you into the resolution thing or not so much? What’s something you want to do MORE of in 2020?

See ya next year 🙂



The post Switch your New Years resolution mindset appeared first on The Fitnessista.

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30 Min HIIT Workout with Weights (Total Body) - This 30 min hiit workout is broken up into three circuits. You'll need a kettlebell and set of dumbbells. Follow-along video included! #hiit #intervaltraining #hiitworkout #workout #fitness

This 30 min hiit workout is the last of this 30/10 series that I’ve been running with for more than a month. If you love this structure, check out last week’s which requires no equipment.

30 Min HIIT Workout with Weights


This 30 min hiit workout (28.5 minutes to be exact) is broken up into three mini circuits. In each circuit, you’ll get three exercises. You’ll go through them four times, alternating between the left and right side of your body. So in total, you’ll complete the circuit twice on the right and twice on the left.

The interval structure is 30 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. After each set, you’ll rest for 30 seconds. After each completed circuit, you’ll rest for 60 seconds. If you need more recovery time and are following along with the video, just hit pause!

As with all workouts, you want to make sure you’re properly warmed up beforehand, and always listen to your body, modifying or stopping as needed. Here are two guided warm ups you can choose from (or do your own!):

30 Min HIIT Workout with Weights (Total Body) - This 30 min hiit workout is broken up into three circuits. You'll need a kettlebell and set of dumbbells. Follow-along video included! #hiit #intervaltraining #hiitworkout #workout #fitness

Workout Breakdown

For a preview of each exercise and how to modify, see the noted times in the above video.

CIRCUIT 1 (02:18)

  • Lunge Hop Row
  • Curtsy to Low Squat 
  • Deadlift Tap

CIRCUIT 2 (12:43)

  • Chest Press x2 Glutes Bridge
  • Crossbody Mountain Climbers x4 Toe Touch
  • Hammer Curl x2 Fly Rotation

CIRCUIT 3 (22:40)

  • Shoulder Press Lunge Press
  • Burpee Knee Drive
  • Squat Cleans

Hope you all enjoy this 30 min hiit workout! I’ve been posting a lot of these 30/10 interval workouts, so I’m going to switch it up next week. New year, new workout structure. 😉

xo Nicole

The post 30 Min HIIT Workout with Weights (Total Body) appeared first on Pumps & Iron.

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Decorated Christmas tree sugar cookies with green frosting and sprinkles rest on a white background.

I know there are a lot of sugar cookie recipes floating around out there. And I know you probably have a tried-and-true sugar cookie recipe passed down from your great-great-grandma. But I’m telling you, you can throw those all in the recycling because this is the perfect sugar cookie recipe for cutouts.

I’ve been using this recipe for years, and it has never ever failed me—and since I originally shared it years ago, you guys have been telling me that you come back to it again and again, too! That’s because it’s a total no-fail rolled sugar cookie and icing recipe. This recipe results in soft, tender, fluffy cookies that don’t spread in the oven—making them absolutely perfect for cut-out cookies. And the cookies have the most beautiful, mild vanilla flavor!

I also have the perfect icing recipe that goes on top that ends up drying hard enough to pack these perfect frosted sugar cookies in a tin, but is still soft enough to bite into without chipping a tooth. And it shines so bright and glossy in the light. It makes for some obnoxiously pretty cookies.

Closeup view of a cut out sugar cookie shaped like a christmas tree topped with green icing and sprinkles.

What do these sugar cookies taste like?

I think the perfect sugar cookie is mildly flavored and very buttery. The cookie itself isn’t too sweet—because the icing will add even more sweetness.

I usually just flavor these cookies with high-quality vanilla extract (I say “high-quality” not because I’m an ingredient snob, but because you can really taste the flavor of the vanilla in these, so you want to make sure it’s something good), but you can easily go with other flavorings, too. Peppermint is delightful for the holidays. Almond and coconut are also both delicious.

In fact, I made a batch of these cookies for my coworkers one Halloween (pumpkin and ghost-shaped, of course) and used almond flavoring, and I repeatedly had people stopping by my office telling me they were the best sugar cookies they’d ever had. Most folks don’t expect an almond-flavored sugar cookie! It’s a really nice change of pace.

How do you make rolled sugar cookies with icing?

Making sugar cookies is a bit of an experience—it requires a few hours’ worth of work. It’s easy to do, but it isn’t something you want to try to wedge into your schedule before work one morning. Here’s the process:

  • Make the sugar cookie dough: I like to do mine in my stand mixer, but you can also do it with a hand mixer or with a wooden spoon.
  • Chill the sugar cookie dough: I suggest chilling for at least an hour, but you can speed that up by popping the dough in the freezer.
  • Roll out and cut the cookie dough: On a floured or powder sugared surface, roll out the dough. Using your favorite cookie cutters, cut out shapes.
  • Bake and cool: Bake for just a few minutes (really keep an eye on them), and then immediately remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Decorate: Mix up a batch of our sugar cookie icing, and decorate to your heart’s content!

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The post Perfect Cut-Out Sugar Cookies with the BEST Cookie Icing Recipe appeared first on Wholefully.

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A white plate filled with Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Apples and Walnuts sits next to an almost-empty bottle of homemade dressing.
The first time I made this shaved Brussels sprouts salad, I was deep in the midst of my standard holiday season merriment. Cookies, eggnog, and bourbon, oh my! After a few weeks of rich and decadent eating, I woke up one morning and my body said, “Hey, this has been fun, but let’s have something green today!” So I listened to my body’s intuition and headed to the kitchen to create this hearty, flavorful, and gloriously nourishing Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad.

I like to remind folks that for a diet to truly be healthy, you have to nourish both your body and your soul! And that means enjoying your favorite chocolate chip cookies and listening when your body asks for veggies. Tuning into your body’s innate wisdom is a skill that is honed over time. Don’t expect to be able to do it overnight—I sure as sugar couldn’t. But after a little bit of practice (and maybe some reading and homework), you’ll soon find the diet that makes both your soul and your body feel its best.

Shredded Brussels sprouts, chopped walnuts, sliced onions, and sliced apples in a glass bowl, ready to be mixed together. A wooden spoon and a jar of dressing sit nearby.

Shaved Brussels sprout salad is winter seasonal eating at it’s best!

This salad is such an excellent way to bring fresh, raw veggies to the dinner table in the winter without having to head out and buy $20 worth of out-of-season ingredients. You can nab almost all of the ingredients for this salad at your local winter farmers’ market (they have those where you live, too, right?). Brussels sprouts, onions, and apples are all excellent winter storage crops, meaning they’re readily available locally for most folks in the wintertime. Using fresh, in-season produce makes for a salad that tastes fresh and healthy, but is still hearty and filling—just like food should be when the temps are low.

You can grab Brussels sprouts on the stalk or off for the recipe, but just make sure to grab fresh ones. Frozen won’t do here. And while it’s technically spelled Brussels sprouts, whatever you call them—Brussels sprouts or brussel sprouts—they are a delicious way to nourish your body!

What do raw Brussels sprouts taste like?

You might be afraid to try raw Brussels sprouts (after all, they are so tasty roasted with some bacon and apples), but I promise raw Brussels sprouts are something you have to test out! In fact, if you are a Brussels sprout-hater, you have to try this salad out! The sulfur flavor that a lot of people dislike about Brussels sprouts comes from cooking (specifically, overcooking) the sprouts. When you eat them raw? No sulfur flavor. They taste like super sweet cabbage! Get the recipe »

The post Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Apples and Walnuts appeared first on Wholefully.

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