Motivation Monday Links: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Dreaming of a White (House) Christmas… Hillary Clinton White House that is!

Happy Monday! Christmas is just a few days away! Here are some interesting tidbits about Christmas in America from the Pew Research Center. Meanwhile, Hanukkah is almost over. I celebrated with some friends over the weekend and fell in love with this amazing pop-rock chocolate from Israel.

Meanwhile, around the world, Holocaust survivors got together to celebrate the holiday in an inaugural global celebration. And still on the topic of Hannukah, check out these amazing (and healthy!) spaghetti squash and quinoa latkes from my friend Deborah. She’s one of my fellow cherry blossom 10 mile run ambassador and I’m already hooked on her blog Confessions of a Mother Runner.

Over the weekend, I crossed off a few additional items from Tammy’s Definitive #DCChristmasChallenge to-do-list, including touring the White House Christmas Decorations,  going to Zoolights and grabbing a bite at Duke’s counter across the street.

I loved this green spined books Christmas tree in the White House east Wing Library

I think unfortunately, that’s as far as I’m going to make it down the list as I head out to Colombia on Thursday. What are some of your favourite holiday-traditions and events in the city?

In non-holidays related news, back in April, women were allowed to participate in Iran’s TehRUN event, the country’s first international marathon. Except they were forced to run in an indoor track. Not cool. Mahsa Torabi just became the first woman to publicly complete a marathon in Iran. To evade possible police intervention, she arrived at the starting point for the marathon at 6 a.m., two hours ahead of the official start time, and ran the 42 kilometer course in just over five hours stating “I showed women can run in marathons and I showed women have strength. I really believe that nothing is impossible.

These foods get healthier when you pair them with booze.  YES!

This was one of my favourite piece of food-related writing this year: Tom Sietsema, food critic at the Washington Post, spent some time in the kitchen working as a dishwater. Along the way, he learned that you can tell a lot about a chef by the way he treats those doing a restaurant’s dirtiest, yet most crucial, job. Worth a read!

And lastly, congratulations to this team of kick-ass French ladies who defeated Norway last night to win the handball world title. Cocorico!


Motivation Monday Links: Post Turkeyfest Edition

Happy Monday! If you celebrated Thanksgiving over the weekend, I hope it was a good one. I needed a bit of a break so I didn’t really do much, other than running Alexandria’ 5 mile turkey trot. Now  I feel refreshed as we gear up for the holidays! My Christmas tree is already up and I can’t wait for all the festivities and the parties. But until then, here are a couple of links of stories and articles that caught my eyes recently.

One of the thing I did do over the long weekend was see Coco, Disney-Pixar’s latest masterpiece (pro-tip: bring Kleenexes when you go see it!) . The animated film, which takes place during Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebration forced Pixar to dive deep into a real-world culture — and add some diversity to its team in order to be cultural authentic. Coco came out earlier in Mexico and has smashed box office records there. So clearly they did something right!

While Disney-Pixar diversified its team, there’s a lot of progress to be done in the still mostly white boy club that is Hollywood… including its movie critics. Very few of the major publications’ reviews have been written by latino writers so this article shares 5 pieces penned by latino film critics. Spoiler alert: they all LOVED it.

My friend Madalene (check out her Tuesday Truths posts, she always links to some great motivational stories!) sent me this article on Virginie Routis, the 38 woman who decides what Emmanuel Macron and his guests drink and looks after the 14,000 wine bottle cellar of the Elysée Palace. I have a girl crush! If you’d prefer to read about her in French, I dug out this profile L’Obs had written last year too.

Earlier, Madalene had also shared this article about how Shalane Flanagan had nurtured and promoted rising talent around her while catapulting herself to the top of her sport. Every single one of her training partners — 11 women in total — has made it to the Olympics while training with her, an extraordinary feat!

Did you catch 60 Minutes’ profile of Jose Andres last night? DC’s most celebrated chef has helped provide more than 3 million warm meal in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria ravaged the island (and 40,000 on Thanksgiving day!) He is truly inspiring! ps: Giving Tuesday is tomorrow and you can donate to his organization, World Kitchen right here.

In fluffier news, the White House revealed its holiday decorations and it looks stunning. I can’t wait to tour them myself in a few weeks! And in other DC news, Politico is partnering with women-lead businesses in the DC-metro area to bring us a full week of exclusive Women Rule perks in the lead up to their Women Rule Summit on December 5th.  Some of the specials include $2 off a glass of wine at my fave La Jambe on Thursday, a special #WomenRule run + yoga at another one of my fave, Summit to Soul Wednesday or a 20% discount on dinner at Chaia Tuesday. 

So, as I mentioned, I put up my Christmas tree over the weekend and I also went to City Center for their Christmas tree lighting. I love when the city is all decorated for the holiday. When do you typically put up your Christmas tree (assuming you put one up of course)?