Most of this past weekend was spent battling some sort of sore-throat-virus, as well as studying for my upcoming CSCS exam.
I know I underestimated the amount of studying I would be doing for this exam; it’s starting to kick me in the butt, and I’m only a week in! My good friend Christina and I are taking it together, and got together last weekend to set up a study plan for the next 6 weeks before our December 1st
D-Day exam date. Oh boy, was that a slap in the face, once we actually broke the book down into sections and made a timeline. At the time, covering the first 8 chapters in the first 2 weeks sounded like a great idea. Now, I’m one week and 4 chapters in, and I’m not sure I can keep up this pace for another 6 weeks!
I just have to keep reminding myself that I went through an entire Masters program just fine while working full time, so this should be no big deal, right? Except for the fact that I feel like I am doing more studying now than I ever did for my graduate work. Oops.
Even through all of this craziness with the upcoming exam and high amounts of work stress, it’s always important for me to make time for the things in life that really count: times spent with friends and loved ones.
A group of my girl friends gets together once every 1-2 months for a “girls night dinner”, a pot luck style event that always has a theme and always includes wine (obviously). The idea originally was to do it once a month, but really, when you’re trying to get about 8 women together who all have totally different careers, work schedules, and lifestyles, it can get a little bit difficult to coordinate something that works for the majority of us. Even though we can only do these every 1-2 months, it’s so much fun to be able to get together, make (and eat) some great food, drink wine, and just catch up on each other’s busy busy lives.
And I am a strong believer that friendships need nurturing just like any other type of relationship does. Making the time to get together in such a hectic world is so important, especially as you get older and it only gets harder to actually spend time with friends when you’ve all got so much going on in your own lives.
Besides, every girl needs a good girls night now and then, right?
This time, the theme was Halloween, for obvious reasons. Most of the time we end up with an even spread of apps and desserts, and although we’re a very health conscious group, at these dinners all of that tends to go right out the window. So even though this blog usually deals with healthy eats, we’re just going to side-step that a little bit today. I know, I know, we could be healthy and have girl time, and sometimes we do, but just not this time. Oh well, a little indulgence is worth it sometimes!
We had “Mummy Pizza Bagels”… that really did look like mummies before they were cooked. Afterward.. well… they tasted great!
This was my contribution, Pumpkin Ricotta Stuffed Shells. I followed this recipe, and I must say, they came out great! I highly recommend this as an alternative for your usual stuffed-shell recipe!
A “Snake” Calzone… It was shaped like a snake before it was cut, complete with 2 green-olive “eyes”! This was delicious as well.
Lets not forget about dessert! These brownies stole the show — they were adorable for the theme and also ridiculously tasty. We also had some white chocolate-dipped “ghost” strawberries and chocolate dipped pretzel “mummies” that I didn’t get a good picture of, unfortunately.
And last but certainly not least… was Kelly’s homemade “blood” sangria. It was so good, and munching on all that fruit at the bottom wasn’t too bad either 🙂
At the end of the night, I left there stuffed, exhausted, and happy! Making the time to see your friends and loved ones is so important to your overall well-being, and adding something fun like a theme only adds to the awesomeness. So despite my sore throat, sniffles, and endless hours of studying, this weekend was huge success thanks to these girls and their great company!
Do you find it hard to schedule time with friends? Do you have any weekly or monthly traditions with friends? When you get together for group dinners, do your healthy habits tend to get a little bit more relaxed?