How to Enjoy Holiday Food WITHOUT Overdoing It

Hello, hello! I apologize for my lack of posts this week. It's been crazy around here getting ready for Christmas! My Mom-Mom just flew in tonight from Florida, so I'm really trying to focus on spending time with her and the rest of my family. BUT I did want to stop by to chit-chat with you guys today about how you can enjoy yourself this holiday weekend, without completely overdoing it and feeling icky at the end of the night (AKA the food coma feeling). Like I've said before, I'm a firm believer in enjoying holiday food. Believe me, I'm not going to tell myself that I can't have some yummy mashed potatoes or Christmas cookies. Food is meant to be enjoyed, and you can still enjoy not-so-healthy food while remaining healthy! It's all about moderation, my friends. So, with that being said, here are my tips for you going into the holiday weekend. 


1. Take it easy on the appetizers.

I know for the holidays we all always put out a bunch of different appetizers, but be mindful when snacking. Make sure you keep tabs on yourself when eating those appetizers, because the calories will add up quickly, and you won't be able to enjoy your dinner if you're already full! Try to stick with veggies as your app if they're available, and be a bit lighter with the cheeses and dips. 

2. Fill your plate with veggies.

Try to fill half of your plate with veggies. This is always a good rule of thumb. If you do this, you'll have less room for those mashed potatoes and other not-so-healthy foods, and you'll fill up faster with your fiber-filled veggies!

3. Slow your roll.

Those cookies aren't going anywhere, friends! I've totally been guilty of this, but don't feel like you need to try each cookie or grab more than one right away. There will be plenty of cookies - they're not going anywhere! Choose one or two of your favorite cookies and truly take the time to enjoy them - mindful eating, my friends.

4. Bring a healthy dish.

If you're worried about having a healthy option, (whether it's an app, side dish, or dessert) bring one with you! By bringing a healthy dish to the holiday party, if you're not hosting, you'll make sure that you have something healthy to put on your plate. Bringing a big salad is an easy, affordable, and healthy option!  

5. Remember, water is your best friend.

It's easy to forget to drink water, especially during the busy holiday season. Make sure you're hydrating yourself over the next few days, AND especially on the day of your holiday parties. There's always plenty of wine and other drinks at holiday gatherings, but you should always try to sneak some water in. The more water we drink, the less water our bodies hold onto. That means less inflammation and puffiness AKA all the good things!

I hope that these tips help you stay on track this weekend, while still enjoying your favorite holiday foods. I hope to get back on here once more this week, but if not, Happy Holidays to all of you lovely people! It means so much to me that you stop by my little corner of the internet, and I'm so grateful for each one of you. 





Happy Wednesday, my friends! I hope that your week is going wonderfully. My week has been full of planning future content for the blog, catching up with some friends, and some job related things! Tomorrow my sister and I are beginning our Christmas baking, and man oh man, we have a lot to do. Our Mommom Minnow always made all kinds of cookies for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and we're trying to hold onto that tradition. I'll be sharing some of Mommom Minnow's Christmas cookie recipes on here next week, so stay tuned because they're really good. 

Tonight I'm stopping by to share my third gift guide of the season with you all! This gift guide is perfect for the foodies in your life. I think there's something for every foodie on this gift guide: the baker, the health enthusiast, the coffee lover, and the wanna-be bartender ;P Let's get right into my picks!


1. Vitamix Blender: Everyone should have a Vitamix blender in my opinion. I LOVE ours. We had other blenders before, but they always left me kind of chewing the kale in my smoothies, and who wants to be chewing on a smoothie? Not this girl! This gift is on the pricier end, but if you have someone in your life who loves making smoothies, soups, or even frozen margaritas, this is an amazing gift! 

2. Cheese Knives: If you have a friend that loves hosting wine and cheese nights, this is a great gift option! I mean, cheese is absolutely one of the most delicious foods out there (at least in my opinion haha), but these beautiful marble cheese knives will take wine and cheese night to the next level. 

3. Latte Bowls: These bowls are the perfect gift for a friend that just moved into her first apartment or home. They're perfect for holding snacks or prepping ingredients for cooking and baking!

4. Veggetti Pro: Another fun pick for the health enthusiast in your life! This Veggetti Pro can turn almost any vegetable into "noodles". You can use a zucchini to make zoodles, which is a really great substitute for spaghetti in Italian dishes. You also could use the Veggetti on a potato to make shoestring baked fries in the oven! The possibilities are endless with this one, friends :)

5. Bottle and Cork Screw: How cute would this little set be for the hostess of the holiday party you're attending? This set would also be an adorable stocking stuffer, and it would be the perfect addition to your friend's stylish bar cart. 

6. Playful Dish Towel: You can never have enough dish towels, right? So, why not have cute dish towels to display?! I think that this Kate Spade one is so fun. Another great hostess gift, and it'd be great paired with the bottle and cork screw set! 

7. Russet Measuring Cups: This pick is one you'll want to get for your friend or family member that loves to bake. I'm a huge baker, and I would love to have some cute measuring cups to use. This is just one of the sets that Anthropologie has, so make sure to check out all of their options! 

8. William & Sonoma Hot Cocoa: I get this hot chocolate for my future brother-in-law every year now because he loves it that much. Honestly, I think any family member or friend would love to receive this hot chocolate as a gift! They have plain, peppermint, and salted caramel, so you're sure to find a flavor your loved one will like. 

9. Golden Monogram Mug: This mug will hands down be a winner for the coffee or tea lover in your life! I know my family members will be laughing when reading this, because I'm pretty much a mug hoarder. I mean, if you drink a lot of tea and coffee you have to have lots of fun and pretty mugs to drink it out of, right? Right. 

Alright, my lovely friends, I hope that this gift guide makes your holiday shopping a bit easier! 

Happy gift giving!

15 Random Acts of Kindness You Can Do This Holiday Season

Hey there! How's your week so far? Mine has been pretty busy catching up on things. It's also been super rainy and dreary here the past few days. So, I'm hoping the sun decides to show it's face by tomorrow! 

During the holiday season it's so easy to get caught up in the commercial aspect of it - buying gifts. Believe me, I'm completely guilty of this. I mean, giving our loved ones gifts is really fun! BUT sometimes I think we all get caught up in it a little too much. I'm challenging myself to make a conscious effort to complete at least FIVE random acts of kindness this holiday season. I like to think that everyone loves on each other a little bit more around the holidays, and what's a better way to show it than doing something kind for a stranger (or someone you know!)? I promise that when you do a random act of kindness you're going to feel just as good (if not better) as when you give someone a gift. 


I've compiled a list of 15 Random Acts of Kindness that you can do this holiday season. I challenge you to complete at least FIVE acts of kindness just like me. Let's see how many people we can make smile this month with just these simple acts!

Some of these acts of kindness require money, or more time, whereas others will take you less than five minutes and are free!

1. "Adopt" a child for Christmas. 

There's so many organizations that sponsor these type of programs. Simply google "adopt a child for Christmas," along with the name of your hometown. Usually these children and teens' wish-lists consist of things that they need - like a winter coat or a hat. 

2. Pay for the person's coffee order behind you.

Many people have been doing this over the years, and it often creates a chain reaction where each person after them continues to pay for the next person's order. Be the one who starts the chain of kindness!

3. Give someone a genuine compliment.

This can obviously be someone that you know - maybe it's a friend, a co-worker, or one of your family members. Do you notice that many of us don't stop to genuinely compliment people in our life that we really value? This random act of kindness will take you less than two minutes. Let someone know why they're so great and watch the smile appear on their face!

4. Leave post-it notes on your company's bathroom mirrors. 

This one is so easy and won't take you long at all. Take a few post-it notes and write a few encouraging quotes or words on them. It could be as simple as just writing "smile"! You never know when someone just needs a few encouraging words to get them through the day.

5. Drop off blankets or food to local animal shelters.

Animal shelters are often looking for blankets, especially around the colder months. If you have older blankets that are in good condition, take them to your local animal shelter. The dogs and cats there will be very thankful! You can also donate food if you'd like.

6. Make a baked good and deliver it to a neighbor, for no reason. 

Make a baked good for a neighbor for no reason, and hand deliver it to them. Let them know that you were thinking about them and just wanted to deliver them something sweet!

7. Hold the door for someone.

Another act of kindness that is so simple and takes no time at all! Hold the door for the person behind you, or better yet, open the door for them and hold it for a few people to walk in. Honestly, it's sad to say, but many people don't hold the door for each other anymore. Make the conscious effort to do so!

8. Offer to babysit a friend's kids for free. 

Holidays are such a busy time, and it's no different for parents with young kids. If you have a friend with younger kids, offer to babysit their kids for them at no charge. This may be one of the greatest gifts you can give to a parent!

9. Give a homeless individual a "care package".

Have you guys heard of people doing this? Instead of giving money to the homeless individuals you see, give them a care package. Fill a large ziploc bag with things that may be useful for them. You can include things like - gloves, a winter hat, a $10 gift card to a diner, a water bottle, etc.  

10. Donate money to a charity of your choice. 

You know that charity that you really believe in, and always tell yourself that you're going to donate to it once you just have a bit more money? Donate to them! Even if it's $5 - everything makes a difference.

11. Thank your regular coffee barista for making your morning more enjoyable.

If you go to the same coffee house each morning before work make the conscious effort to genuinely thank your usual barista one morning. Tell them how much you appreciate them making your early morning more enjoyable!

12. Stop and ask a retail associate how their day is going.

Can you imagine how many grumpy people they get shopping throughout the holidays? Be their little ray of sunshine. Although I never worked in retail, I was a hostess at a restaurant and it was truly so nice when customers made an effort to ask me how I was doing and just shared a few kind words.

13. Buy a $5 gift card to a local coffee shop or deli. Put it in a coworker's mailbox anonymously. 

How fun would it be if you went to check your mailbox at work and amongst all of the paperwork sitting in there for you was a gift card?! A $5 gift card won't break your bank for the holidays. Leave an anonymous note with the gift card, wishing them a happy holiday and that you hope this would bring a smile to their face!

14. As you're walking down the street, make eye contact with two people and smile at them.

Seems silly, right? SO many people don't do this though. People are constantly looking down at their phones - texting, checking emails, etc. The next time you're walking down the street or to your car, make a conscious effort to make eye contact with someone and smile at them. I mean, if smiling is Buddy The Elf's favorite, it's gotta be good, right?! ;P

15. Shovel an elderly neighbors' driveway when it snows, without them having to ask.

With the holidays comes the colder weather and probably some snow for some of us. If you have an elderly neighbor, go out and shovel their driveway and sidewalks for them. They'll be so appreciative of this! 

Alright, friends, I challenge you to pick FIVE of these acts of kindness and do them before Christmas. Spoiler alert: doing these random acts will not only make the recipient happier, but it'll make you happier, too! Just wait and see :)

Spread some cheer, guys!




Weekend Recap & Free Printable Christmas Gift List!

Hey, friends! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and long weekend full of family, friends, food, and some shopping! My mom, dad, and my sister headed to my Aunt and Uncle's for Thanksgiving, and it was really nice to spend some time with them and our two cousins, Morgan and Sara. I totally failed as a blogger and only have one grainy selfie of my sister, me, and my two cousins from the day, but I think that goes to show that we were having a good time. 


We had a bunch of yummy food, and I really loved how my stuffing and pies turned out. Yay! If you're looking for some recipes for upcoming holiday parties, check back to THIS post for the recipes I made for Thanksgiving. 


I'm not a huge Black Friday shopper, so I headed to my sister's instead to hang out with her for the day, and I ended up joining her and Mike for a second Thanksgiving dinner on Friday night. It's safe to say that I'm still full from Thanksgiving Dinners one AND two. 

On Saturday my mom, dad, sister, and I headed out to get our Christmas tree. This is the earliest that we've ever gotten it, but we figured why not enjoy the Christmas season for as long as possible? There's not many things I love more than waking up to the smell of our Christmas tree and looking at it all lit up in our living room at night.


On Sunday morning my mom and I strung lights onto the tree while sipping coffee in some festive mugs that I found at Marshalls Homegoods. There's just something about drinking coffee out of a Christmas mug that makes it so much better!


The rest of the Sunday we ran some errands and then I went to the gym with my dad for a post Thanksgiving workout. And now here we are on Monday night! I hope all you big shoppers out there scored some good deals during Cyber Monday today. We got a teensy tiny head start on our Christmas gift shopping this weekend, but we still have a good amount to do!


I'm a list kinda girl, and that's no different when it comes to Christmas gifts. I like to write down the gifts we still need to get, along with the person's name we're gifting the present to. So, I figured why not make a cute printable to use this year, and I'm sharing it with you all so you can print it out to use for your holiday gift lists. Isn't is so much more fun to make lists when it's Christmas themed? Please tell me I'm not the only crazy list lady here ;P


Click HERE to get your FREE printable Christmas List! Happy gift giving, friends :) 




Holiday Gift Guide: Gilmore Girls Edition

Hey, friends! I'm dropping by tonight with my second gift guide of the holiday season. This gift guide is perfect for your friends who are currently obsessing over the Gilmore Girls revival. I'm late hopping onto the Gilmore Girls train (I'm only on season 4 currently) so I won't be done in time for the revival, but I'm loving the show so far! Let's be real, love is probably an understatement. IT'S THE BEST SHOW EVER (besides Parenthood which I'm totally procrastinating on finishing the last season because I don't want it to ever, ever end). I know, I'm being a tad bit dramatic, oops!

Anyways, I hope that this gift guide helps you pick out a gift for your friend that loves Gilmore Girls, or maybe you'll find something you want to add to your wish list :) 

  1. Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham (AKA Lorelai Gilmore): This book is a collection of personal essays about Lauren's time filming the revival of Gilmore Girls, her journey through her career, navigating Hollywood, and so much more. This is at the very tip top of my Christmas list, and I think any Gilmore Girls fan would love this as a gift! You can preorder it now on Amazon, the actual release date is the 29th of this month.
  2. I'd Rather Be Watching Gilmore Girls Sweatshirt: The perfect cozy gift to cuddle up in during a Gilmore Girls marathon. No girl would turn down this cute sweatshirt!
  3. Luke's Diner Mug: The classic choice, a Luke's diner mug. I think every Gilmore Girls fan needs one of these to drink coffee out a Gilmore, of course ;P
  4. Oy With The Poodles Print: If you watch the show, you know this line. I think this would be such a fun gift for a friend's office. How cute would it be within one of those gallery walls?! 
  5. GG Pencils: The perfect stocking stuffer! These pencils are so adorable. The pink pencil says "I love you like..." and then the white pencils say things like "Lorelai loves coffee," "Rory loves to read" etc. So fun, right?!
  6. Stars Hollow Candle: For the candle lover in your life who's also a Gilmore Girls groupie, I've found you the perfect gift! This candle has notes of maple leaves, apples, toasted marshmallows, and fall spices. It'll transport you right to Stars Hollow. 
  7. Where You Lead Bracelet: I'm kinda-sorta obsessed with this bracelet. How cute would it be to get one for you, your sister, and mom, or you and one of your best friends? There's different variations of this bracelet on Etsy, but this is my favorite one!

Alright, friends, I hope that this gift guide helped you find some cute gifts for the holiday season! Anyone else out there frantically trying to binge watch Gilmore Girls to catch up before the revival?! 

Happy Shopping!