Monday Motivation: Transitioning Back to Reality

It’s Monday! This is likely one of the most difficult Mondays of the year, as we get over the long Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend. Our bellies full and our wallets empty, it’s time to get back to work, and back to the daily grind.

drink coffee

Image via Pinterest

I personally have thrown routine out the window lately, and after a long-weekend vacation in Montreal followed by the long holiday weekend, I am ready to reintroduce things like the gym, smoothies, and a normal sleep schedule back into my life.

Here are some links from around the web that are helping motivate me – from jumping back on the treadmill to getting the ball rolling on my holiday shopping:

healthy oatmeal smoothie

Image via marthastewart.com

  • I had this healthy smoothie for breakfast this morning. Did you know that yogurt plus oatmeal equals a complete protein? Mine was a little too thick, but still oh so good.
  • Looking for creative ways to finish up those turkey day leftovers? The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond has you covered with some inspiring leftover turkey recipes 
  • Self magazine always has my back when I’m feeling less than motivated at the gym. I think they read my mind when they pinned these 10 boredom-busting treadmill workouts on Pinterest yesterday
skinny cranberry bliss bars

Image via skinnytaste.com

  • And JUST in time for the holidays, Gina Homolka of skinnytaste.com has a recipe for Skinny Cranberry Bliss Bars that I must try. These were my favorite holiday treat back when I worked at Starbucks, many eons ago

In conclusion, this Cyber Monday I am keeping the coffee flowing, and I have my gym bag packed and ready for tonight. I am motivated! How about you?

Awkward & Awesome Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has to be, hands down, one of the best holidays ever. Who doesn’t enjoy a good feast with people you love? Most of my Thanksgivings have been spent at my parents’ or an uncle’s house, with my whole big, Italian family, cousins and all.

This year, I’m doing something different. And on that note, let’s dive into this week’s awkward and awesome.

AWKWARD

  • I’m hosting Thanksgiving today. In my shoebox Manhattan apartment. Ok, it’s just Jamie, his parents and me, so we’re not packed in liked sardines, but when the “what should we do for Thanksgiving this year?” conversation came up a few weeks ago, this was the farthest thought from my mind.
  • There is a 17-pound bird in my “easy bake oven.” Manhattan kitchens are miniature. I have a thin, short refrigerator, a dishwasher one-third the size of the one at my parents’ house, and my oven is…the size of a 17-pound turkey apparently. I’ll let you know how this works out. 
  • There is no hustle-bustle buzz. It feels so strange not being in a big house surrounded by my entire family.
  • No candied sweet potatoes for me. Candied sweet potatoes are my late grandfather’s specialty, and my mom has done a beautiful job of keeping the tradition alive. If there is any food item I am sentimental about, it’s them. Mom, if you’re reading this, I’m expecting you to save me leftovers!

AWESOME

  • I didn’t have to deal with traveling on the most traveled day of the year. After all of my horrendous run-ins with NJ Transit over the past three years, I am so very thankful to not be standing on any trains today.
  • I’m cooking (ok, helping cook) my first turkey – and really putting this kitchen to the test. I love cooking new things, and Jamie’s mom is a great teacher, so today will be fun.
  • I made stuffed mushrooms. Mmmm. Check ‘em out.
  • I’m with people I love, there’s food on the table, and I’m seeing my family this weekend. I’m thankful.

What are your thanksgiving traditions? Give me the awkward family stories, those are the best.