12 Days of Christmas

Healthy tips for the Holidays!

I’m just going to start out by saying, please spare me the eye rolls. I know this is a time to indulge. Even as a health and wellness mentor, I get it. It’s not that I don’t think we should, I think we can save ourselves some actual physical, mental and emotional agony though by not over doing it. There is a way to have your cake and eat it too.

(I still don’t get that) LOL!

Keep in mind, these are tips too! But I’ve found that I’d rather stay mindful and aware than full of regret and too much nut rolls. I really do think there is such a thing.

First off, remember Christmas is one day. Christmas Eve is one day. New year’s is one day. So what I think we tend to do is basically tell ourselves the “holidays” are the entire month of December. Which they are in a sense, but we don’t have to have to let that be our free ride to not give a crap. In fact, right now, I’d be doing all I could to just stay on top of things. Eating balanced meals, only having ONE cookie at the office lunch instead of 3 since it’s the “holiday” party. Continuing to get a 30 minute sweat sesh in and really stay mindful each day of what I’m consuming.

Next be sure to just drink tons and tons of water. I know you might think that makes you bloated and it doesn’t sound satisfying, but it’s going to keep your metabolism flowing, it’s going to keep things moving and breaking down as you eat them and make you feel much better each morning after some indulging.

Don’t get upset with yourself FOR indulging. This isn’t meant to confuse you since I just said it’s OKAY to indulge a little. This is meant to keep you aware of what you’re telling yourself while eating that cookie or having those drinks. I think we hurt ourselves more by getting down on ourselves for “splurging” and then guess what we do out of regret… splurge more. Hence, way more guilt which is harder to lose than weight. Girl just let yourself LIVE. Loosen up a little and I’ll bet you notice you are splurging less.

Like I said before, you best be sweating. Even some early morning yoga and stretching will wake your system up the right way.  This not only is helping your body continue to burn, you are continuing to just treat your body right, which in turn you’ll do in the kitchen too. However, I can’t stand when someone says they’re “earning” their dessert or working off all the buffalo chicken dip. Thinking of a workout that way is far more negative than you can imagine. Workout through the holidays because it makes you a better person. It helps you clear your mind and be more present. It serves your body and your soul too!

I’m going to give you some mental tips too. Because I think we center this time of year too much around “weight gain” and don’t pay near enough attention to mental strain, exhaustion, stress, anxiety – you name it. And you know why there is weight gain, all of those things come into play. So I recommend a quiet five minutes to yourself each morning. NOT scrolling your Facebook or checking your bank account. A quiet 5 minutes to think of all the things you’re grateful for. Just five minutes to imagine how happy you are and see yourself totally crushing the family gatherings and holiday parties. 5 minutes to really just soak in what your spirit needs and stay mindful of what this season is truly about. I recommend a daily devotion, maybe a quick 5 minute mindset focused video on youtube. Here is one of my absolute favs!

Finally just remember that you are in control of your choices. I know you’re around your entire family and friends, but your best you is you feeling your best. So when you’ve had enough, just stop. When you aren’t feeling that night out and know you need to stay in, that’s okay. Listen to what you need and in turn, you’ll be better for everyone around you.

Happy Holidays! Be sure to stay HAPPY too!

12 Days of Christmas

A few of my FAVS!

Okay here goes! I’d love to know your’s below!

Eggnog or hot chocolate? Definitely egg nog (especially with dark rum). I’ve grown into that answer!

click image for recipe!

Turkey or ham? This is a tough one for me but I’d have to say ham. The turkey is too hit or miss (depends the cook which is never me) and I like to fry the ham the next day for sammies! 

Decorating before or after Thanksgiving? Well this year we decorated before because we were out of town the week of Thanksgiving and I definitely didn’t want to do it after that long trip. So I absolutely loved coming home to the house already decorated. I recommend it if you’re going out of town for Thanksgiving. However, we did the outside lights after! 

He was CLEARLY thrilled!

Christmas eve or Christmas? No brainer. Christmas. I love Christmas Eve, but I don’t think anything beats that feeling on Christmas morning. And the nap in the afternoon. 

Real tree or fake tree? I wish I could say real, but I have way to much fear of fire so fake from here on out! 

The tree at my Mom’s! Every ornament tells a story & there are a LOT of them!

Wrapping paper or bag? paper! When I was a kid, I used to look forward to wrapping for my mom and grandma! I loved it. I’m not knocking bags, but honestly, the look of the pretty paper is worth it I think!  

Elf or The Christmas Story? Elf! I can’t believe I JUST watched it all the way through for the first time this year but I loved it. I loved what it stands for.

Pumpkin Pie or Apple pie? MMM pumpkin! With extra whipped cream! 

Top Five Favorite Holiday Movies!

It’s a Wonderful Life – I just can’t help myself! This movie is a bit dark, but the message in it should be broadcasted for all to see. It shares an important message that I think everyone needs especially around the holidays.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – “The shitter’s full!” Need I say more?

The Santa Clause – I feel like I just grew up with this one. And I loved how it turned a nonbeliever into a believer! Oh and the man in charge.

The Holiday – A Christmas rom com and a classic I think. Makes me all mushy gushy which is more than necessary at times.

Home Alone – The original. Just because it honestly never gets old!

12 Days of Christmas

Favorite Holiday Throwback!

Each year there is ONE person I am MOST excited to watch open gifts.

And that’s grandma.

If she gets diamonds from pap, he always asks her what it is (lol)! And she always makes sure to mention she must’ve been really good that year! Even though he still says she’s on probation.

But the way her face lights up never disappoints. Nomatter what she’s given. I think one year it took her the longest to open gifts just because our entire family waits to watch her and just bask in the JOY that always come streaming across her face. I swear it’s better than any kid on Christmas! Really, she’s kinda like that all the time. Not just when gifts are involved. She’s one of the most expressive people I’ll ever know. Honest, blunt, loving, and so so funny.

This Christmas was the first time my Dad’s side of the family packed up and spent Christmas night and a few days after in a cabin in Deep Creek, MD. I was skeptical at first. Just because I was so used to spending my holidays the way I knew ever since growing up. And that was at grandma’s house. But I was open to the idea and looking back, that Christmas holds some of my favorite memories with my grandma especially.

She likes to play cards. They tried to teach us poker but honestly, it was too complex for me and even my sister and cousin. So instead our go-to game is called Shanghi! It’s such a fun game. Long, but fun. And you have to stay pretty alert to be able to “Shanghi” someone! The goal is to have the least amount of points at the end. Points coming from cards you were still holding when someone went down each round. I’m pretty sure it’s close to gin rummy, and we play it differently every time 😉 but it’s our favorite thing to do with grandma. She’s SO FUNNY! She’ll either get the rules wrong or (toot) like she did the last time we were playing. Seriously, we all burst into tears laughing. But really at this cabin, there wasn’t much more to do. Of course it didn’t snow like we’d hoped, so we couldn’t go sledding or skiing, so we stayed inside and out of the rain.

We played cards A LOT! One night, it was just her, my sister, my cousin Abby and me up until 1-2 in the morning. Just talking, carrying on. She can talk and she may have passed that down to us. We also watched some home movies while we were there. Which maybe I’m just sentimental, but every family should do that more. Especially to just see the looks on your elders faces as they watch you during a time you can’t necessarily remember. Seeing them relive those moments with us is really special.

This holiday throwback although having some sad times in the mix that year, was brightened by my grandma. She always finds a way to do that. She’s always down for a selfie. Always down to catch a bite to eat. She will always make you laugh. She might sometimes make you question your outfit choice or hair style/color decision, but she’ll always do it with love. I’m grateful for all she’s taught me and all the joy she reminds me to find all the time.


12 Days of Christmas

Favorite Gifts Under $25!


I am writing this in the sense of my favorite gifts to give AND get! I also absolutely love knowing you can give such a valuable gift for such a reasonable price. Because am I the only one who wants to give literally everyone something? HAHA! Here’s a way to make giving to MORE people, more affordable.

I like the idea of giving an “experience” to someone. And these days I feel like more and more people aren’t doing this as often because it’s just so expensive to go. But there’s nothing like a nice movie night out. I got a Fandango gift card one year for Christmas and it was one of the best gifts I’ve ever received! It made wanting to treat myself and someone else to a nice movie seem stress free and guilt free! I absolutely loved it! And you can get a few movie showings out of it for $25!

Don’t underestimate the power of a wildly cozy and comfy throw blanket. I swear, sometimes we may think “well it’s just a blanket” but I don’t know many people who don’t love a nice, new plush throw blanket. I know I can’t really relax for a movie or show on the couch without being covered up. I can’t nap without it either.

You just simply can’t go wrong with something you can eat or drink. In this case I’d say more along the lines of drink. A nice bottle of wine can go a long way or bottle of liquor (depending your audience) paired with a snack of some sort OR just 2 bottles of wine (again depending your audience)!

I might seem old for saying this, but SOCKS! I don’t just mean the plain white sneaker socks. I’m talking the fun, trendy, stylish kind. It seems like I always stock up then lose some OR I can’t ever have enough. Fun sets of tights, socks, and HATS are my favorite. If someone bought me an assortment of these things, I guarantee I’d wear them more than the one pair of pants. Am I making you rethink your gift giving yet!?

I was going to take the time to type out all of these choices but how about instead I’ll say “LITERALLY” almost anything in TJ Maxx, Homegoods and Marshalls. When I know I need a solid gift for an affordable price, I roll in there. Between the knick knacks, to the fairly priced frames, to the mugs and snacks and wall hanging pictures and books. You name it! In fact, one year I think I covered one whole side of my family in one of those stores for like $100!

For the sentimental type: a framed photo or blown up photo on a canvas.  The look on my Dad’s face a few years ago when we gave him a photo of my sister and I for above his fireplace was priceless. Although it wasn’t under $25 because my uncle took care of it for us being he was the photographer and we were really, really poor college students at the time, it did spark the idea for many christmases following and really any occasion that a photo is worth so much but actually can cost so little. Or even just printing a photo and hitting up TJ Maxx for the affordable frame. This is one of my favorite gifts to give, especially for family. And really to receive! The more photos around of the ones I love, the better in my opinion.

That’s all for now. Until my Mom supplies me with some genius ideas because I know she will. I hope whatever you give, you give with love. And whatever you receive, you give love back for it!