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. 

holiday-food-without-guilt

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. 

Love,

 

 

Healthy Holiday Cookie Recipe

Hello there, friends! I hope that your Monday went wonderfully. It's hard to believe it's already December 5th - only twenty days until Christmas! With Christmas right around the corner, we know that we're going to be around loads of cookies and other treats as well. I really wanted to find a healthy cookie recipe that I could make for Christmas so I wouldn't feel like I only had unhealthy options. So, if you'd like to have a healthy treat on your cookie platter at Christmas that's extremely delicious, keep on reading!

oatmeal-cookies

These chewy cookies from Amy's Health Baking are the perfect sweet treat for the holiday season. The rich dark chocolate balances out the the tart cranberries, with a dash of cozy cinnamon flavor. These yummy cookies will stay fresh for at least four days if stored in an airtight container at room temperature. 

For this recipe you're going to need:

  • 1 cup instant oats
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp chopped dark chocolate

Once you have all of your ingredients you'll follow these directions:

1. Whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. 

oatmeal-cookies-step-1

2. In a different bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, egg, and vanilla. Stir in the maple syrup. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated. 

3. Fold in the cranberries and 2 1/2 tablespoons of the chopped dark chocolate. Chill the cookie dough for thirty minutes. 

4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up! 

5. Drop the cookie dough into 15 rounded scoops onto the prepared baking sheet. Flatten to desired thickness and width using a spatula. Gently press remaining chopped dark chocolate into the tops. Bake for 9-12 minutes. 

oatmeal-cookies-baking-sheet

6. Cool on the pan for ten minutes before moving to a wire rack. 

oatmeal-cookies-baked

Once the cookies have cooled off, go ahead and dig in! Believe me, you're not going to believe that these cookies are actually healthy :) My family already wants me to make more! 

oatmeal-cookies-done

Happy holiday baking!

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. 

cousins-thanksgiving

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. 

pies-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.

xmas-tree

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!

christmas-mug

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!

christmas-list

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

xmas-list

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 :) 

gilmore-girls-gift-guide
  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 of...like 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!

 

 

Holiday Gift Guide: Fitness Lover Edition

Happy Tuesday! I hope that your week has been going smoothly so far. The cold weather is slowly starting to make its appearance around here, and it's making me excited for the holidays! I mean, Thanksgiving is next Thursday. How did that even happen?! I'm going to be stopping by tomorrow to share with you what sides and desserts I'll be making for Thanksgiving. Make sure to come on by if you're looking for some recipes!

With Thanksgiving being next week, Christmas is going to be here before we know it! So, since time is flying right on by I figured I would share my first gift guide of the holiday season. All of the gifts in this guide are perfect for any fitness lovers in your life. I wouldn't mind if some of them showed up under the tree for me! :)

fitness-gift-guide

Going left to right, starting at the top:

1. Zella 'Midnight' High Waist Cutout Midi Leggings:

Zella leggings are by far my favorite leggings. Don't you hate leggings that continually fall down while you're running or just exercising in general? Yeah, me too, and Zella leggings don't do that. I love the fun cutouts on this pair! Perfect for your friend that has an edgier style. 

2. Zella Live In Slim Fit Leggings:

These gems are on sale right now for only $37, which is a STEAL for Zella leggings. I love the design on these! I think these are the "safe" choice - any gal would love to score these at Christmas!

3. Zella 'Hatha' High Waist Crop Leggings:

This was kind of my wild card pick, but I think that this design is so cute! The mesh cutouts seem to be a big trend right now, and I love how the black and white design compliments them. These are the perfect choice for your girlfriend who likes to make a statement at the gym!

4. Zella Melange Knit Pants:

These are the PERFECT pair of pants to wear to the gym, but also to lounge around in! They're so cozy, but still stylish enough that you don't feel like a bum running errands in them ;P I think any girl would love to find these under the tree!

5. The North Face Women's Thermal Ear Gear:

Is your friend, aunt, sister, or mom a runner? If they continue to run outside in the winter months, they'll love you for this gift! The North Face Women's Thermal Ear Gear will keep their ears nice and toasty on their long runs. Great stocking stuffer, too!

6. Shop Aviate Hat:

This hat has shown up on the blog before, and I think it would make a great gift! BNA is the airport code for Nashville's airport, and Shop Aviate has all different cities airport codes. Right now, PHL is unfortunately out of stock, but I emailed the company and they said it should be back in stock by the end of the week. Head on over to see if they have your favorite city! If you know someone that loves hats, this is a great choice for them. Everyone needs a hat for that post-workout sweaty hair, right?!

7. Nike Sneakers:

I mean, you can't go wrong with gifting a pair of these beautiful babes! Any fitness junkie out there loves their sneakers, and Nike has been coming out with some pretty cute pairs. I love the gray and black simplistic design of these. I think they'd look cute with just about any color leggings! 

8. I Do It For The Pizza Tank:

What girl doesn't love pizza? I've been loving the workout tanks that have been popping up with cute sayings like this one. The Etsy store that sells this tank also has a bunch of other sayings, including one that says "I Do It For The Tacos". I mean, can I just have them all?

9. Zella Pullover:

I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for sweatshirts that I can throw on with a pair of yoga pants or leggings that won't make me look like a total bum, and this pullover takes the cake! I absolutely love the cobalt blue color I've put on the gift guide, but if you're not into bright colors they have neutral color choices too. 

10. Zella Long Sleeve:

Another cute option for those people who like to go right from the gym to run some errands. Cozy and cute!

11. Swell Water Bottle:

Swell water bottles are pretty much thebomb.com. They'll keep your water cold for up to 24 hours, and your coffee or tea hot up to 12 hours. Pretty cool right? Oh, and a portion of the sale of each bottle goes to UNICEF to help provide clean drinking water to children around the world. So, you can feel good about buying one of these gems! 

12. Ponytail Holders:

If you're a fitness lover, you need a serious ponytail holder to keep your hair in place during all of those burpees, jump squats, and running! These hair ties have a 5-star rating with 100 reviews. Not too shabby, right? They come in a bunch of different colors and are perfect as a stocking stuffer!

13. Apple Sport Watch:

This is the perfect gift for your friend that really likes to track her steps, calories burned, hours spent standing, etc. I have the apple sport watch and absolutely love the health app on it, and all of the other cool features the watch has to offer! This is definitely a pricier gift, but one that would be well-appreciated.

14. Gym Bag:

Okay, so technically this bag is considered a weekender bag. BUT I think it's the perfect size for your friend who runs to the gym right after or before work. Think of the friend who goes to the gym before work - they have to pack their work outfit, shoes, hair dryer, make-up, and whatever else they may need. I'm sure they would love a cute gym bag to tote all of that stuff around in! 

15. Gloves:

Last but not least, you can't go wrong with a pair of tech friendly gloves for your friend that still runs outside in the winter. Another cute option for a stocking stuffer, or you could get these and the ear warmer headband - what a perfect gift for that outside runner!

Alright, friends! I hope that you guys enjoyed the first gift guide of the holiday season. Hopefully you were able to grab a few gift ideas for your friends and family. 

Happy Shopping!