Realistic Holiday Health

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We just passed Halloween and now have bags of candy tempting us by saying it’s okay to eat 1 or 10 pieces for breakfast, lunch, or even dinner.  Without missing a beat, I’ve seen close to 20 (so far) images with workout guides and the horrors of gaining weight over the last two months of the year.  The incentive is to lose your holiday weight now and not wait (weight lol) until the New Year to declare your new super awesome fitness goals.  I think it’s a bit presumptuous of anyone to start shoving protein shakes or whatever weight loss thing down anyone’s throat or assume we are all planning to go into a food coma by sitting at the dining table shoveling mashed potatoes in our mouths in a last ditch effort to have one more bite in the name of Thanksgiving or other holiday meals.

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Holiday Shopping Prep

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I was at the dentist not too long ago chatting with the hygienist like I normally do.  [It’s always good to be friendly with everyone you meet, plus your interaction with them will show you what kind of business they are as a whole.  If a receptionist / front desk person is rude it is very unlikely that I will patron that business again.  That always tells me that the owner either doesn’t really care about their customers because they hired someone so rude on their front lines, or the owner doesn’t make sound business decisions and you can expect poor work when you interact with him or her when the time comes.]  The topic of the upcoming holidays came up, which is expected since we are weeks away from Halloween, and then the anticipation of Thanksgiving and Christmas follows shortly after.  She made a comment about how expensive it gets this time of year.  I mentioned about how I put money aside to I won’t go further into debt starting in August and September.  She was amazed that I was so diligent about not over spending or relying on credit cards, how it is something she could never do.  I told her that it was a lot easier than she realized and even putting away a little each week adds up a lot faster than she realized.

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Fabulous Friday – Host Your Heart Out

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Frankly, I love Thanksgiving.  I actually love it more than Christmas only because it’s a day almost everyone has off, and we get to eat so much delicious food!  Oh, yeah, and spend time with family.  I have to throw that in there.  I know in my age range there are probably a lot of you out there who have been chosen by family to host the big dinner this year.  It can be very overwhelming and scary actually.  What if you don’t like to cook?  Which pizza place will deliver in case you burn everything?  Let’s take several steps back and just breathe.  Really, just relax.  It is not as complicated as you are thinking at all.  The important things to remember are how many people are coming, what kind of food will you be serving, will you offer alcohol, and how will you entertain your guests.  This basis will cover the entire evening or weekend, depending on how long any guests are staying with you.  Let’s break everything down in simple steps:

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Money Mondays – The Blackest of Fridays

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I know for a lot of families, they plan ahead of shopping routes, stores sales, whose car can hold the most stuff, and which big ticket item they are buying this year months before Black Friday is even a thought in most of our minds.  I’m not even kidding when I say they map routes.  I have known people throughout the years that would literally map out their routes and hand out copies to family members to score the best deal on that majestic Friday.  I think military strategists could take a lesson or five from them.  I know for some families, they have the tradition of getting up early and going shopping on Friday, or just enjoy the thrill of the hunt; not so much the long lines, possible fighting, and waking up hungover from booze and turkey filled stomachs.  Is there really any advantage of all the effort shopping and planning?  I think years ago it was beneficial to shop that day to save money, but with the way things are now, most companies offer better sales all through the year, especially after big marker holidays.

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Holiday Crafters Unite!

I love trying new things whether it’s cooking or crafting and had to share my most recent adventure.

I made a sweet potato cake for Thanksgiving.  It is by far the most involved cake I have made to date.  You would think, oh, it’s just a cake, throw everything in the mixing bowl and pop that bad boy into the oven! Wrong.  There were so many steps in the process with the wet and dry ingredients so the balance in the batter was just right.  I felt like a chemist and was worried that my measurements were not accurate.  I went out and bought expensive cake flour because I figured all purpose flour would make the cake even heavier and it would take even longer to bake in the oven.

In the end, I passed with flying colors.  The recipe suggests you can add a butter-cream or cream cheese icing but I left it plain.  It tasted best warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  I may  try to shrink the recipe next time and make a loaf versus a cake.  We’ll see!

Before the madness in my kitchen – I love my Kitchen Aid mixer.  It is worth the price, period.

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The finished product.  My kitchen smelled like a foreign spice market when I was finished.  I couldn’t help but dance around pretending I was an extra on the set of Aladdin (That’s to say, if Aladdin ever became a live action movie.)

 

 

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What are you challenging yourself to this holiday season?

Holiday Fashion?

As much as I love to dress, style my hair, pile on makeup and do my nails – I really don’t dress up on the actual holiday.  You know what?  I don’t think you should either.  We work ourselves to the bone the rest of the year and deserve to sleep in, wake up looking a mess, make a huge mug of coffee and relax in our best pajamas.  This is what the holidays are really about.  Sit around, eat, socialize with family, eat some more then simply sit back and take it all in.  I see so many people stressed out because they didn’t iron their table clothes the right way, or they have to settle for using plastic plates instead of fine china as a table setting because their wondrous set was missing a piece.  All the fancy dresses, accessories and such, save it for those special holiday parties.

You know what I’m wearing to my Thanksgiving meal?   Leggings, fake uggs, a long sleeve tunic top, throwing my hair in a bun and calling it a day.  I’m all about comfort and functionality.  Who wants to suffer through a delicious meal in constricting jeans?  Ugh, I hate denim!

If you do get dressed up, I hope you look fantastic and all your effort was worth it!  Remember to pair your gravy stain on your top with the appropriate wine stain.  You would hate to appear gouache when Thanksgiving meal hopping today.

Stay safe & be thankful!!