My Friends Make Me Feel Festive

Date: December 19, 2011 at 9:07 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 39

You know what’s important in life?

Chocolate.

Good drinks.

Laughing.

Also, and maybe most importantly, great friends.

Even better? Great friends with chocolate who make you laugh while drinking good cocktails.

And that pretty much sums up my Sunday.

Steroid face, still? Seriously?

Yesterday was a pretty perfect day, and even though I have a ton of Christmas shopping left and a quickly dwindling bank account, I’m very much in the holiday spirit.

I woke up at 8 am, which was glorious, and lounged around Brian’s apartment for a while. I’m slowly accepting that it’s OK to be a little lazy on the weekends, especially on Sundays. Eventually I made my way home, put on my shortest shorts and headed out for a 23-degree 5-mile run.

It was cold. But also lovely.

My run was nothing spectacular. I just wanted to be in the park, enjoying a little bit of sweat and relishing in the fact that I am done training and racing for 2011! My final race of the season was Saturday’s Ted Corbitt 15K, and I’m pleased to say I went out with a smile on my face. Success!

After my run, I went into party mode.

Yesterday marked the First Annual Sweat Squad Secret Santa party. I got to play hostess, which was great because that meant everyone else had to trek through the cold while I stayed inside making cupcakes and pouring drinks.

They're festive, and they have chocolate frosting in the center. Breakfast of champions, if you ask me.

Yesterday was my first time having a group of people over since I moved into my apartment! I don’t have much space, or much seating, but we made it work.

Also, I’m not exactly a star in the kitchen, so I did my best to put together some appetizer-y foods that wouldn’t kill anyone.

Little cracker sandwiches! And candles! We did not eat the candles.

I think I succeeded, because no one has alerted me of post-party food poisoning yet. And yes, I did have to Google, “How to cut gouda.” Laugh it up, folks. I’m learning.

I cut the cheese. Haha HILARIOUS.

So there was food…

It looked like a real party!

…and then there were drinks.

Mmmmmmimosas.

Kelly, Megan, Susan, Meggie and Lindsay all came over at 1, and the “brunch” lasted until about 7 pm.

We drew names a few weeks ago, and yesterday we finally got to exchange gifts.

Lindsay with her new Believe I Am journal, courtesy of Meggie.

MEGAN GOT ICE CREAM! Strong work, Lindsay.

I had Susan, and I gave her the gift motivation, or something:

A frame for her 3:10 marathon finish line photo. I predict this happens in 2012.

…and also the gift of hot guys and baby animals.

I am not sure which one is cuter. Probably the baby animal.

Kelly was my Secret Santa, and I am now the proud owner of some badass wool socks. I wanted to wear them to work today, but they didn’t really go with my outfit. Perhaps tomorrow.

After the party, my friend Lauren came over to continue the friendship fest. And by friendship fest, I mean we ordered pad thai and drank wine.

Why am I telling you all this?

Well, because it’s my blog, and I’ll write what I want to.

But also because the holidays are stressful. Last week I was a heinous little witch because I was panicked about everything imaginable. I overreacted like a champion and threw little mental fits whenever something didn’t go as planned. I was most definitely not in the holiday spirit. I was in the bitch spirit.

This weekend brought me back into the land of overstuffed stockings, sugary foods and festivity, and that was exactly what I needed.

I stole this photo from Lindsay. She's a wonder with the camera self-timer.

I went to bed last night finally feeling totally chilled out and happy. And also quite drunk.

It’s so important to have good friends, especially during this time of year. It also helps if they know how to bake, or at least know what kind of wine you enjoy.

And if I can get just a little cheesy now: As I get older I care less and less about presents. My mom always asks for my Christmas list, and each year, even though there are things that I’d like, the gifting portion of the holiday feels less important.

I got to spend my weekend surrounded by some of my favorite people, and I was so happy the whole time. It was great catching up in the midst of all the holiday craziness, and I can truly say that I feel like the luckiest girl in the world because I have these people in my life.

Cheese-fest over. You may go on with your day as planned.

TALK TO ME: What was the highlight of your weekend? Holiday shopping? Getting a little boozy and dancing to Celine Dion’s always-amazing holiday album? (What’s wrong with that? NOTHING.) Seeing friends and family? Eating cupcakes? I’d like to know, so tell me.

39 Responses to "My Friends Make Me Feel Festive"

just thought you’d like to know that animal planet has a new show out: Too Cute: Baby Sloths! I didn’t watch it. Michaela did, she said it was amazing and adorable. Yup, random.

My best friends came over to my house and we baked a ton of cookies. We then proceeded to decorate them like celebrities (Taylor Swift and Eminem). I have no idea why we did, were just weird like that ;)

The highlight of my weekend: lots! Finding a real tree to cut and decorate. Decorating a gingerbread house with my bro, sister-in-law and boyfriend. Celebrating my mom’s birthday. Lots of family time and I LOVED it.
Glad you had a great weekend!

My sister came to visit! It was lots o fun.

I spy cheese puffs! Epic party food :)

I was sick with a cold all weekend (still am) but I still had fun staying in and spending time with Andy. Other than that, not much happened at all. Your Sunday sounds like it was so much fun!

Champagne, cookies and friends were the best part of my weekend! (Coughwemissedyoucough.) As much as I love stuff, I love people even more, too. And big trees. No matter how old I get, I’ll still always love a big-ass Christmas tree.

i love that you googled “how to cut gouda”….i google absurd kitchen stuff all the time. i tell myself it’s actually less embarrassing and time-consuming than calling my mom. the christmas highlight of my weekend was for sure watching “love actually” in bed. nothing better than that!

Holiday shopping was definitely not the highlight of my weekend, the city was wayyyy too crazy for me…but I did finally start to feel Christmas-y :) I’m heading home to see friends and family tomorrow, can’t wait!

What a fun weekend. Looks like you did a pretty good job playing hostess! My brother was in town and we did all the Christmas New York stuff which was a blast.

your “brunch” sounds so fun! i love get togethers like that!
Being away with my mom was the highlight. Workouts + yummy food + gorgeous surroundings + some pampering + living in luon + no need for makeup + some quality mother daughter time = happy, happy amy

I had to work on Saturday but I spent Friday with the boyfriend and a good friend window shopping and looking at fancy grocery stores! Sunday was a perfect lazy day of cooking, cleaning a bit and than a surprise visit from a friend!! The highlight was all the friends I saw throughout the weekend!

Those cupcakes looked so good! All the food displays looked delicious! I love a good secret santa/white elephant party. I finished my xmas shopping this weekend and am looking forward to wrapping. Wrapping is really fun for me, Im such a nerd! I am looking forward to baking this week too and your cupcakes certainly left me inspired. Happy Holidays!

Aw, thank you SO much for having us over last night- I left the UES with a smile on my face and far too much sugar in my bloodstream. Best Secret Santa brunch ever. Let’s hang out again soon.

And, that gouda slicing was top notch. Just saying.

All of the above! I bought my parents’ Christmas gifts, went to a holiday party, drank mulled wine, sang carols along Avenue B, and definitely ate a cupcake. (And pad thai. It was the perfect weekend for pad thai.) I also got my I <3 Sweat shirt in the mail, which was the TRUE highlight. The only thing missing was Celine Dion, but I plan on rocking out while at work today!

aw looks like you and your friends had a fabulous time! my highlight was my annual floozies holiday party – which involves great friends, food, booze, and dancing!

a little surprise came in the mail today – my i heart sweat shirt! im gonna wear it tonight to pilates and TRX. thanks ali!

Your weekend sounds funnn! Sparklers and champagne at a loft party was definitely my highlight and as I was baking cookies in my kitchenette and used the floor as a counter I dreamt of actually living in a loft. And frigid freezing weather= fun scarves.

Holiday weekend was a fa-la-la touristy friend fest in NYC :) got to visit with college roomies, go for a run down 5th avenue and through central park (which is a BIG deal for this Boston girl!), and visit the prettiest Christmas tree in the country! All while eating too much good food, spending too much money (how do you do drinks in NYC on a daily/weekly basis??) and drinking lots of wine. Such an awesome way to kick off the Christmas week!!

Love this post, Ali!!
Weekends are so much more enjoyable than the work week and it is SAD when they end. I was also a little bitch the entirety of last week so it was really nice to be handed a ginormous glass of wine saturday evening and then to continue to drink all evening. Also, I’m not sure how I was lucky enough to stumble upon him, but the patient man I’m dating should win an award for being around me.
Highlights of this weekend include: Watching Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Elf, Drinking delicious alcoholic beverages, Hanging out with good people, visiting cute little shops in Newport, and playing with dogs. :)

Highlight of the weekend was definitely sleeping in and doing absolutely nothing on Saturday. It was so nice just to “be” and not rush around! And, this morning I had a chocolate croissant with my coffee…nothing beats that :)

yesterday was definitely the highlight of my weekend – 6 hours long brunches FTW. Seriously, I heart you guys. And delicious treats. And the fact that you Googled “how to cut gouda.” We need to plan another one of these ASAP. <3 sweat squad <3

SO glad you had such a great weekend! The food looks delicious! You are so right…friends, family…so important to remember how important that is during the holiday season.

“Last week I was a heinous little witch because I was panicked about everything imaginable. I overreacted like a champion and threw little mental fits whenever something didn’t go as planned. I was most definitely not in the holiday spirit. I was in the bitch spirit.”

Too bad this is the way I’m like you!!! (Why couldn’t I be good at fundraising or fun faster??? Lol.) Ditto all that you said. Especially the overreacting like a champ. Thank God we had a chill weekend complete with Crossfit and a 12k race to sweat out my poopy spirit. Today I feel stoked for Christmas and so thankful for my family (and the hubby in particular). And Sherlock Holmes 2.

Stellar spelling. I meant “run faster.” Yay four day work week!!!

I just got home from college after a week of writing endless essays, so my weekend consisted of baking, running with my mom, and vegging out on the couch. It’s been awesome!

haha i LOVE your posts ali! they always make me smile at work (woops)

my weekend was pretty low key: baking, napping, eating baked goods til my stomach hurt, more napping. pretty quality weekend!

I feel so honored to have been invited to the first party/soiree that you hosted at your place! Despite your best efforts to tell us otherwise, we all know you are a fabulous hostess. And cheese cutter.

I was so full of holiday cheer when I left your apartment last night that I bought a Christmas tree on the UES and schlepped it to Brooklyn. I also might have been a little drunk.

Sounds like you had a GREAT time! I got my boyfriend on ice skates for the first time yesterday, spent the day downtown Chicago, eating drinking and skating! Wonderful day!

Secret Santa is the best! I love the gifts you all exchanged!

Best part of my holiday so far… Joe McIntyre Christmas Show… Yup! I said it, and I’m still so excited that I was there.

It sounds like you had a blast of a weekend! So fun! This weekend I got to see my family and friends and celebrate my dad’s 55th birthday on Saturday! (I’m sure he’d love knowing I’m telling you this, ha!) The holidays are TOO much fun!

Well, since you asked, this past week was filled with all night study sessions for finals. It was just glorious, as I’m sure you can imagine! Fun fun fun! …although peppermint fudge-covered pretzels definitely helped the whole studying process…

I’m not usually big into the whole holiday thing. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a Jew, and therefore a little bitter and resentful that I never fully got in on the whole Christmas spectacular, or if I’m just fed up with Christmas turning into lots of obnoxious advertisements from October until January. But for whatever reason, this weekend I was TOTALLY into everything remotely related to the holiday. I braved the mall and marveled at the decorations (and sales!) and wasn’t bothered by the crowd. My boyfriend and I drove around and I swooned over lights. We drank candy cane tea and listened to holiday music, and it just felt so cozy and cliche and wonderful. If I can be less of a Grinch for at least one year of my life, I consider it a win!

I love the frame that you gave! I think that was a very thoughtful gift.

This weekend the highlight was running 8.7 miles pain free and still having no pain! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my peroneal tendonitis has bit the dust.

Your party looks awesome! I love that you made the “cut the cheese” joke. Always funny.

Thank you so much for having us! Definitely the highlight of my weekend, we need to do these more often…and get back out on the bridle path soon! You’re a fabulous hostess and I love that you kept our drinks filled and tummies happy.

Also, I love that Megan bought a tree on her way home! Awesome.

Watching Elf made me happy! I agree – spending time with the people I love is way more important than presents! I’m thankful for amazing friends and a fabulous family!