Weekend Wrap-Up

Good morning.  I am a huge liar and didn’t announce the winner of my Larabar giveaway on Friday.  Using the random number generator (how I choose the winners for all my giveaways), the winner is commenter #16, Sheila Jeffrey!  Sheila said she is most excited to try the pecan pie flavor.  Sheila, please email me at akaralekas@gmail.com to claim your prize!

Weekend Wrap-Up

I did a lot of things this weekend, but I didn’t feel too busy or hectic, which was a nice change of pace.


I actually took a vacation day from work to just breathe for a bit.  I taught Cardio & Core at 6am (yes on my day off, and yes I made it there), then spent a few hours at the Y busting out a ton of stuff that has just been sitting there waiting to get done.  I did some grocery shopping, ran some errands, and spent the afternoon cleaning the apartment and prepping for Friday night.  Tim and I hosted some work friends (actually, I think now most are ex-work friends) over at our apartment.  For the past three years, we’ve always had a group outing at Christina’s in Foxboro where we could pay $30 each for a buffet dinner, dj, dancing, etc. and get a $15 gift card back in return.  This year the facility closed, but Tim and I wanted to keep the tradition going so I put my hostess extraordinaire hat back on and we did our thing.  It was very fun to see everyone!  I didn’t take any pictures of people, but I did get a bunch of the food.

Holiday Party 2012 - Food

Tim made his super awesome spinach artichoke dip.

Tim's Spinach Artichoke Dip

We also made tomato, basil, and mozzarella skewers.  This is my favorite healthy Christmas colored appetizer!

Tomato Basil Skewers

Tim also made meatballs that we served in little finger rolls, but I didn’t snap a picture of them.  I was in charge of dessert, obviously.  I went with my go to pretzel bites, but this time I used Christmas colored M&M’s.  It’s the easiest recipe ever, but you do need the patience to unwrap a bazillion Hershey’s kisses.

Christmas Pretzel Bites

I also made Christmas cupcakes!  I used this recipe for whole wheat chocolate cupcakes, and I made a homemade peppermint frosting for them by combining butter, sugar, peppermint extract, and milk together.  Sprinkle on some red and white and stick a little winter decoration on top, and voilà – Christmas cupcakes.

Christmas Cupcakes

The last thing Tim & I made was a Christmas punch.  Festive and delicious, and I’ll post the recipe soon!

Cranberry Christmas Punch

Our friends were great and brought over veggie platters, chicken wings, tons of wine, other desserts, and more.  We really appreciated all of it!


Friday ended up being a pretty late night, and I was *this close* to skipping my planned Saturday morning workout, but Ashley texting me to see if I was still planning on going to barre class did the trick.  I headed over to Boston Body Pilates with Ashley and Aloisia for an 11am class.  The class didn’t necessarily leave me sweating or thinking, “Wow, what a GREAT workout.”  However, it was the perfect choice for still getting in some exercise when I was feeling tired and still a little sore from the previous week’s workouts.  My abs ended up feeling a little sore from the class on Sunday too!  The afternoon was spent doing a lot of nothing (look at me!), then Tim and I had a date night in Davis Square.  It started with a drink and appetizer at The Foundry, pizzas at Pizzeria Posto (wine bar I’ve been dying to try), and then another drink at Orleans.

Posto Pizzas


Sunday I ran a successful holiday Zumbathon at the Y, where some of my amazing instructors showcased their passion and skills and helped raise over $400 for group ex programming.  I kind of forgot how much I do enjoy taking a good Zumba class – these instructors all made it so much fun!


Tim’s friends Greg and Gina and their daughter Hannah came up for the event, well Gina came with me to take part in Zumba-ing the afternoon away while Greg and Tim took little Hannah to the movies.  We all went to eat after, and it was nice to spend time with them!  Sunday night was spent prepping for the week and curled up on the couch watching Homeland.  I’m seriously mad next week is the season finale.  Now what am I going to watch on TV?

Hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing weekend!  What did you do?

Be back later with my Weekly Workouts post.  Catch ya then!

Tim’s Super Awesome Spinach Artichoke Dip

My boyfriend rocks, and this is why:

spinach artichoke dip

Tim’s Super Awesome Spinach Artichoke Dip


  • 8 oz plain Greek yogurt
  • 8 oz Neufchatel cream cheese substitute
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup canned artichokes, chopped
  • Crushed red pepper flakes and garlic salt to taste
  • More Parmesan cheese to cover the top of the dip


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Boil a pot of water, and add the spinach and artichokes. Cook for 5 minutes, and drain when done.
  3. Combine all the ingredients and half the cheese in a bowl, and mix well.
  4. Pour mixture into an 8×8 greased cooking dish, and top with the remaining cheese.
  5. Cook at 425 for about 15 min or until cheese is golden brown.

Holy YUM! You should probably go make this now. Maybe even both. They’re the perfect cheesy deliciousness for Sunday afternoon football! And then you can do my “Another Kick Butt November Workout” tomorrow to make up for it.

That’s all for today, but definitely make sure to tune in tomorrow! I have another really exciting free giveaway for you!!

Question of the Day:  What’s your favorite kind of dip!?

P.S.  Be Thankful Challenge for Today: I am thankful for family like Lexa and friends like Allison! Thank you both for having me this weekend. 🙂