christmas parties galore

Of course December launched straight into being just as inescapably chaotic as every past year, but that’s not to say it wasn’t a dismal month. On the contrary it was quite fabulous with the holidays and I must say the two weeks of vacation with family and no work certainly does help the enjoyment! (So forgive this being a more personal versus work-related roundup this month).

I finally got to mess around with my precious new Canon 5D Mark IV! I even had a fabulous snow shoot planned with my friends but the snow canceled those plans unfortunately as I have yet to be able to make it out to put this camera through its paces. But very soon, I assure you!

Damon and I hosted my annual Christmas party at our house and it was a huge success! For once we had the perfect amount of food, supplied an anything-you-can-think-of Christmas bar for drinks, had the firepit going outside, a depressingly steal-free Gift Exchange, “Spoons” played with Candy Canes (Spoons is such a fun game if you’ve never played before!), card tricks and magic by my dear friend Roman, and ended the night with a Rocket League tournament with my brother, Damon and I.

(I got a bottle of Captain Morgan and a wooden barrel mug from my Secret Santa!)

My Nana & Grandad’s annual Christmas party is always something I look forward to every year with a White Elephant Gift Exchange and tons of yummy food!

More photo & video shoots

I headed up to Auburn and took some group shots for the wonderful Vibrance Medical Spa and then turned around to drive to San Rafael for a commercial video shoot with The Motion Bureau!

fit after the feast

I spoke a little in my #DecadeChallenge blog about how I joined a Fitness challenge at my gym but I’ll fill you in on some more here! This challenge was called “Fit After the Feast”: A 3-week fitness challenge where you work out in groups with a personal trainer 3x a week and get a customized meal plan. I did it with my co-worker and ended up having a lot of fun!

The actual diet part of getting healthy has always been the hardest for me but for some reason once this program started for me, something in my brain just flipped. I wanted to do this. In fact, I was determined to see it through because I had been eating terribly for far too long and I just wanted to feel good about myself. Why not now?

So I did the meal planning and all the workouts with the exception of one on a shoot day and felt so awesome. So amazingly good about myself it was wonderful. I’d love to lose weight, but that is not my goal in getting healthy- it is literally just treating my body like it needs to be and feeling better about myself knowing I’m doing everything I can to be healthy. So doing this was a game-changer, guys (although two weeks off and all of the Christmas foods and goodies certainly haven’t helped) and I have every intention of starting this meal-planning and treating my body with care as soon as I’m back from break!

christmas eve

In addition to Thanksgiving, my parents also hosted my dad’s side of the family’s Christmas Eve this year! We had our traditional homemade pizza and pasta for dinner (yes, we’re Italian) with canolis, peanut butter balls and a rice crispy treat wreath for dessert! We passed dinner with Christmas Fun Facts followed by some competitive rounds of Left-Right-Center!

christmas day

Christmas morning was kicked off making the traditional quiche and cinnamon roll breakfast and a Hulu “Yule Log” on TV (a How To Train Your Dragon themed one!!)

My family with Damon and my sister’s boyfriend included all opened up presents in our jammies and had fun seeing everyone’s reactions to our gifts!

I have to say I got a lot of great gifts this year- lots of things for photography and of course the fun things!

At the top of the crop is the new Google Pixel 4 that Damon got me - I had been ceaselessly complaining about the battery life of my old phone all the while insisting I didn't want a new one. He got tired of it and got me this new beauty!

The camera is AH-mazing (only second-guessed my decision to buy a new DSLR) with portrait and night modes and the 90 HZ refresh rate is beautiful!

I also got a new video monitor for my camera as well as some cute new clothes and photo accessories!

boxing day & washington

Boxing Day we drove up to Livermore to have our third Christmas with Damon's family and it was dwarfed by some of the largest presents I've ever seen on a Christmas morning!

That weekend we flew up to Washington to visit Damon's grandparents on Guemes Island! Funnily enough, my own great-aunt lives on Anacortes island right across from Guemes- what are the odds of that!?

After some chaotic travel coordinating (we found out our “round trip” arrived home at a different airport), we reached Guemes island in the early evening on Saturday the 28th and spent the weekend taking in the gorgeous views from Damon’s grandparent’s patio and exploring the island in-between rounds of card games and yummy meals.

And bonus: we got randomly upgraded to First Class on our ride home! Very fun indeed.

new years

Damon and I got all gussied up in 20’s garb for a Gatsby-themed New Year’s party in Auburn and brought in the New Year with style! With a 20's cocktail bar and gorgeous decor with a photobooth, how could it not be a show-stopping night?

a new decade

And all of a sudden it’s January! I love the holidays but they always seem to have passed so fast once they’re over. I’m still rebelling and haven’t taken down my Christmas decorations yet but I suppose that will have to happen sad!

How were your holidays? I hope you all had a blast spending time with your families and getting festive!

Now we bring on the New Year! Happy 2020 everyone and I know this is going to be everyone’s most amazing year and decade yet!! To see some fun old (goofy) photos of me from high school and learn about my business goals for 2020, head on over to read about my Decade Challenge!