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It’s the tail end of the holiday season, yo! And my time has been consumed with fun parties, work stuff, and kid stuff. I like being non-specific like that because it makes me sound fancy, but really, that translates to handing out with my family, planning lessons and grading, and taking my kids to gymnastics, dance, and performances. Oh, and preparing for Christmas and the chaos that surrounds it when you have two kids!

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In between one performance and the requisite day-ending Scuplin’.

Because I haven’t had time to write (follow me on Twitter and Instagram. I’m ALWAYS on those!), I’m dedicating this entire post to parties you can and should go to next year.

First on the list is the super fab Nordstrom holiday shopping event I went to with the sis and mom:

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We were handed delicious shots of piping hot tomato-basil soup while waiting outside for the doors to open. Strangely, when we were finally let in, the super sweet men and women who work at Nordies were lined up along the entrance cheering as if we had finished a marathon. It was weird. In fact, I’ve finished races with fewer people cheering down the finish chute.

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Luckily, the weirdness was cut by bottled bubbly with straws.

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If you think drinking champagne through a paper straw is strange, I completely agree with you. But it didn’t stop us from sipping on the bubbles!

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Don’t hate on my janky nail art.

Nordies went all out and kept us well fed with delicious tray-passed snacks (mostly veggie-friendly!), but the treat of the night were these dark chocolate-peppermint marshmallows:

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There was also a band playing holiday standards that were a hit or miss, depending on the track.

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SUPER into it!

The bonus was that I earned 10 points per dollar spent, so I stocked up on my favorite face creams and nail polishes.

I would definitely recommend going to the Nordstrom holiday event if you live near one. It’s a stellar way to kick off the season.

Up second on my list of holiday parties you should go to is the Ventura Winter Wine Walk.

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Now, I feel like I should disclose that I am partial and biased towards anything that is Ventura County because I love where I live. But even the most cold-hearted snake might agree that this annual event is well worth the money and time.

Last year was so much fun that we absolutely had to go again this year! Tickets in advance are $45 or $50 (I can’t remember), but they go up in price just like a race as it gets closer to the event. My wonderful mom took our whole family, which was such a generous treat! She is always doing nice things like that! Thanks, Mom!

Like last year, we picked up our tickets at the Crowne Plaza at C-Street in Ventura and then headed up towards Main Street. But before we walked towards the center of the event, we grubbed on the most delicious spicy ahi spoon thingies!

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I admit I may have gone back a couple times.

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Or I sent the huz to do my dirty work. #noshame

If you’re wondering, it was COLD that evening! I had to wear my Flyte shirt, a fleece, and a parka!

Because there were so many awesome bites and sips, I’ll spare you most of the deets, but know that beer and wine were being poured and the food stops were off the charts tasty! And everyone was super friendly, festive, and wonderful!

Here is a taste of my favorite moments of the night:

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That’s a County Line pale ale. Full pour. I need to check out their tasting room STAT.

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 Name that movie.

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Ornament-making for the kids.

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Veggie samosas for my belly from Bollywood.

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There was also a snowfall, great bands playing all night, and street performers!

The perfect part about this year’s walk was that it ended at 7, so I had plenty of time to binge on pizza and Nuun to carb-up and rehydrate for my big goal race the next day (report to follow soon).

The last public holiday event that you should go to next year is the local RoadRunner holiday party! Road Runner is the closest running store to me, and I’ve been buying shoes and talking shop with the fine folks over at the Newbury Park location for so many years that they know my name and don’t run when they see me walk in with my two minis.

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The bonus is that you can win a free things (I won an Adidas visor that I gave to a co-worker who “called it” as we were sipping beers and chatting away). Each person who came received an ornament, which was a nice touch.

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There were even games for the kids! The best part of all, though, was hanging out with a bunch of people who love running and love to talk running!

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I take that back. The best part was participating in the Ugly Christmas Sweater contest. I won first loser DESPITE my cheering coworkers and their families! If they had brought their cowbells, I totally would have won.

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I hope that you are having the best holiday season! 

What is your favorite holiday party?

What is your favorite holiday treat?

What was the best gift you gave?

 

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