Dog Days of December

After enduring an abundance of cold and rainy days this December, I’m on a mission to combat dreariness. Here are a few personal guidelines I’ve whipped up to help spread holiday cheer:

Tree(Eastern Market)

Step 1: Embrace holiday commercials. The soulful and melodic tune in Glade’s ad is spot on, and the song is free to download! Commercialism that keeps giving. Also, this Hallmark one gets me every time; just have to share!

Step 2: Decorate. The apartment tree decorating ceremony wouldn’t have been complete without festive Georgetown Cupcakes (yum) and Love Actually playing in the background. “Christmas is all around me”…

Tree

Step 3: Encourage endorphin production: This week I was able to finagle a free week-long gym membership to Crunch! So many classes! On Sunday I tried a ballet inspired Barre Assets workout. It was one of those tricky classes where you feel the burn both during the session and the next morning, when every under-utilized muscle becomes very apparent. I also tried a spin class. Compared to the uber-eccentric SoulCycle and Zengo classes this version was a bit underwhelming, but still a great cardio boost!

Step 4 (when I start to stretch my theme): Cook something hearty. This week I tried a Turkey Zucchini Meatball recipe. They turned out pretty well!

Meatballs

The recipe calls for ground turkey, salt and pepper, an egg, zucchini, bread crumbs and seasonings. They don’t look quite as gourmet as the recipe’s pictures, but they did the job. Also, probably a better option than my store-bought frozen kind, best not to look at the ingredient list.

Step 5: Attend bookclub and try not to lose your cool when your bus gets stopped by protesters and you have to walk home: This month’s bookclub choice was “How to Get Filthy Rich is Rising Asia”. The novel follows the narrator’s life from childhood poverty to corporate success, with each chapter depicting a self-help style lesson on “how to get rich”. For the exception of the narrator’s dying words of wisdom, the book didn’t do much for me. So instead, I’ll recommend the SERIAL podcast! It’s a new series that unfolds a non-fiction crime with each week’s episode; this season follows a 1999 Baltimore murder investigation. Riveting. Not intended for after dark listening.

Cheers!
– EmPan

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