Things I’m Loving: ‘Tis the Season – Volume 2

A while back, I posted of my favorite fall treats from Pinterest and beyond. Well now that we’re officially almost at Thanksgiving, I think it’s time for another ‘Tis the Season, this time with a holiday focus. You’ll see a few Thanksgiving mentions in here, but overall, I can’t help but skip straight to Christmas (and Hanukkah, of course).

CURRENTLY DROOLING OVER: 

This Candy Cane Fudge. I couldn’t help but kick it off with another one of Sally’s drool-worthy treats. This recipe is as simple as they come, with only 5 ingredients and limited cooking time. It looks like the hard part is waiting for the creamy peppermint fudge to set for 3 hours before digging in!

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These delectable mint brownies. Talk about festive! That beautiful green mint layer almost looks to pretty to eat, but take my word for it, that wouldn’t stop me. I can’t help but wonder: if I baked these brownies, would they REALLY look like the pretty picture?

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This puppy chow (or “Muddy Buddies” to those who confuse the name with dog food). Another winner from Sally. I’ve mentioned my love for puppy chow before. The entire top half of my “Sweet Treats” Pinterest board is littered with puppy chow recipes. But, this recipe, pure genius…once again, from Sally. A very simple recipe that you should definitely “Pin” if you’re hosting a holiday party.

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These Christmas Pancakes. Eeek, I know. Must. Stop. With. Mint. But, come on, can you really blame me for coveting these pancakes? A little food coloring and some candy cane-infused chocolate syrup make these pancakes pretty much irresistible. Having the family over for Thanksgiving? Surprise them in them morning with these fun pancakes!

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These Hot Chocolate Cookies. Ahhh, nothing like curling by the fire with some hot cocoa, a cookie and your iPad a good book during the holiday season. But, what if you could combine them? This recipe does just that, and mark my words, I will be making these cookies several times during the holiday season.

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Speaking of hot cocoa, it’s definitely one of my favorite parts of the “most wonderful time of the year.” Here are ways I plan to dress up my hot cocoa this year.

I plan on hanging these adorable marshmallows off the side of my mug. A little melted chocolate and some candy canes combine to adorn these marshmallows with some holiday flair.

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And of course, I’ll also top my hot chocolate off with some of this peppermint whipped cream. I’ve made whipped cream before on the blog, and surprisingly, it’s not that difficult. With this recipe, you simply fold in crushed candy canes, and voila, you’ve got yourself some festive whipped cream.

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Now, if I’m really up for venturing outside of that hot cocoa mug, perhaps I’ll break out the mason jars and serve up this delicious caramel white hot chocolate recipe.

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On that note, if you know someone who loves hot cocoa as much as me, perhaps you could give them these ornaments filled with all the fixings for a nice cup of hot chocolate, as a little holiday gift. I also think they would make great holiday party favors. If you have a Jewish friend, no worries – just use the blue and white one in the middle!

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And finally, nothing gets me going like a good hot chocolate bar! Last year, I put on a large holiday event for one of my clients and practically insisted that the event include a hot chocolate bar (it was a big hit, by the way). I love how this set-up uses mason jars for a nice, clean, yet festive look.

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I’ve also seen a few fun little gifts and spirited ideas across the “Pinterest-o-sphere.” 

Even though I’m Jewish, I love this idea for a Christmas Eve box for the kiddos: new PJ’s, a Christmas movie, some popcorn and hot cocoa mix. I might add marshmallows and a Christmas mug to the box. Now, for the Jewish kiddos…let’s see what can we do? I’d suggest: a pair of nice chopsticks (for the Chinese food we eat on Christmas), a Christmas movie (I personally think all children should enjoy the holiday classics) a pair of non-Christmas PJ’s, hot cocoa (marshmallows, etc.) and a nice little mug.

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Speaking of my Jewish friends, I’ve always felt so bad that they can’t keep their kids in line with the ever-popular Elf on a Shelf. Well, apparently, their prayers have been answered with the Mensch on a Bench. According to the website, “The Mensch on a Bench book tells the story of Moshe the Mensch who was in the temple when Judah and the Maccabees won the war against the Greeks.  There was only enough oil for one night, but who would watch over the Menorah while everyone was sleeping? Moshe the Mensch! Now you can get your own Mensch to watch over your family’s Menorah and bring new traditions to your families Hanukkah celebration.”

Sadly, they are all sold out until 2014…but hey, ya might as well pre-order ya’ll.

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I’m not sure if I’m crafty enough to create this wine bottle lights decoration, but I’d sure like to try! What a nice way to spruce up your house during the holidays…and a great way to utilize all that wine you drank during family time on Thanksgiving. I hate to be all “girlie” on you, but when I see a drill in “tools needed,” I tend to think a project is not for me. Ladies, grab your man, have him handle the power-tools portion, and you go ahead and make the rest pretty!

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And finally, I just couldn’t help myself with sharing THIS incredible picture. For those of you that worry us Jewish people miss out on the fun of holiday decorations, please enjoy this picture of the gigantic Hanukkah Bear that currently resides in my best friends’ yard.

Apparently the bear can be purchased here, but again with Hanukkah being so early this year, it’s sold out.

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On that note, how exciting is it that the first day of Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving this year? Here’s a fun article for those still in search of fun ways to celebrate the momentous (seriously, once every 70,000 years) occasion. Manischewitz-brined turkey, anyone?

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I cannot post anything about holidays without mentioning one of the important elements for holiday survival: booze.

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Here are some holiday cocktails I’m dreaming about right now…

I’d love to knock down a couple of these Peppermint Egg Nog Shots. Mmmmm…my mouth is watering at the site of these gorgeous little shots. For a little extra potency, I might suggest adding a shot of Peppermint Bark vodka to the mix. Might as well go big or go home – if ya can’t indulge on the holidays, then when can you?aeb20ad8e145c45a511e3e63127738e1

This Christmas punch is very festive and will come together in a pinch. Love the idea of coating the cups with red and green sugar crystals.

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This sangria recipe would be perfect for any  Thanksgiving or Christmas feast.

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With all of this sweets/alcohol talk, I’ve just got to share a few healthy things. This is a Sometimes Healthy Living Blog, after all.

It’s too late to join this Planksgiving Challenge, but I think it would be fun to do something similar for the 25 days of Christmas! Who’s with me??

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Also, to those of you traveling for Thanksgiving and looking for a workout that requires no equipment, try running a couple miles (weather permitting)  and then busting out my 100′s challenge workout. Trust me, you’ll feel the burn after all those burpees! My workout page has been updated recently, so feel free to browse around for the Thanksgiving workout that’s right for you!

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Last, but certainly not least, check out this infographic if you’re looking to watch the waistline during your Thanksgiving (Thanksgivingukkah feast) next week. Personally, I don’t really advocate portion control on Thanksgiving. It’s one day of delicious food, and if you can’t let loose on a day full of pumpkin pie, fried turkey and sweet potatoes, then were’s the fun in life?

That said, I completely understand those who are committed to maintaining smart eats through the holidays…this chart’s for you!

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YOUR TURN:

What are your thoughts on Thanksgiving portion control? I’m a firm “NO” on this one!

Any fun workout plans for Thanksgiving? I’ll be in NYC, so I hope to make it to Central Park for a Turkey Day Trot!

Eyeing any holiday treats yet? Feel free to share with some link love!

 

 

 

 

5 Thoughts on “Things I’m Loving: ‘Tis the Season – Volume 2

  1. All those pictures now have me drooling! Christmas always gets me in the baking mood.

    I’m not quite sure I like that Thanksgiving portion guide…it kind of depresses me because I eat wayyy more than that!

    I’m jealous that you will be able to do a Turkey Trot in NYC! I have my local Y’s Gasping Gobbler 5K this weekend.
    Stacie recently posted…It’s Beginning to Look a lot like ChristmasMy Profile

  2. These all look so good! Peppermint is one of my favourite flavours this time of year. I usually add some to my coffee at Starbucks for a treat.
    Holli recently posted…Muffin MakingMy Profile

  3. Pingback: I Just Had to Hop on the Bandwagon…. | The Sometimes Healthy Living Blog

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