November 19, 2011 · 11:53 am

Part 2 of this post has been on the agenda for a while, but part 1 was super relevant since it happened to me this morning…

Sooo after a week straight of really getting in the groove of hard workouts daily, I woke up this morning raring to go for a run, only to discover that my iPod was out of battery. It let me stop and think for a sec… maybe this was a sign that today would be a good rest day, especially after working out hard every day this week.

But of course the motivated, energized part of me got mad! I didn’t want to take a break. It’s crazy how fast fitness habits form; the prospect of taking a day off still has me in a little bit of a head spin. It’s the same sentiment that I was feeling a week ago when I told myself I needed to get my butt moving, just a different message.What are your thoughts on this? Do you ever feel guilty for giving yourself a break?

But you know what I have to keep telling myself? It’s okay. It actually reminded me of a Glamour Magazine feature that they do monthly.

It’s a beautiful day out, so I can go out and rake leaves or even talk Lola for a nice easy walk later. Plus, it’s not like I plan on sitting around all day… it’s a great day to catch up on stuff that I need to get done! Which brings me to Part 2…

Getting a leg up on holiday baking!

Are you the kind of person who decides what you’re baking for the holidays and makes it way ahead of time, or more of a last minute, decide-and-bake-as-I-go kind of person? Do you have stand-by recipes that you never stray from, or do you like switching it up with new recipes every year?

I’m a combination of all of the above. Our Christmas tends to be very traditional, and that includes our cookie recipes. My grandmother is French, and though she immigrated here with her family when she was just a baby, we still use many of her and her mother’s recipes for Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas dinner, our annual Buche de Noel, and some cookies. Plus we have favorites that we’ve accumulated over the years!

However as someone who is obsessed with all things baking, of course I am totally game to try out new cookies that I come across on the internet or in magazines. The good thing is that we give many cookies away as gifts and we have a Christmas Eve party every year with a giant cookie platter, so we don’t have to worry about making too many cookies.

But last year, the combination of coming home from college for break December 10th-ish and wanting to make all of these cookies meant several all-nighters in a row. It made my holiday season so much more stressful than it needed to be! It’s the time of year to be merry and bright, not cranky and sleep-deprived.

So this year, in an attempt to remedy that, I got a huge head start. Cookie dough can be made and frozen about 2 months in advance, so I started a couple weeks ago. Our storage freezer:

And that’s not even HALF of what we will have at the end!

Another plus of making cookies way ahead of time, especially when experimenting new recipes?

There’s room to make mistakes!

These were my first attempt to make maple candy. I can’t figure out if I overheated the syrup or let it sit for too long afterwards, or both, but I did learn that an accurate candy thermometer is so important. Ours is old and kind of crappy, so I will be picking up a new one today, especially with the prospect of making toffee and fudge, and tempering chocolate in the near future.

So go ahead and get a head start! That way in a month’s time, the only job you have to worry about amidst the madness of presents and party-planning is to defrost, slice, and bake.

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