Hosting A Christmas Cookie Exchange

cookieexchange.jpg

Want to have a variety of Christmas cookies to enjoy during the holidays without having to spend days slaving over the stove? If so, a Christmas cookie exchange is for you!

How it works:

  1. Invite your guests! Everyone who attends the cookie exchange is going to make their favorite holiday cookie. If two people have the same favorite cookie, either have one of them pick out a different cookie to make or have them modify the recipe. This is why it’s important to find out what everyone is baking in advance.
  2. The amount of cookies each person has to bring depends on how manyjennifer-pallian-306898 people are attending the party. For example- if you have 10 people attending the party, each person should bake around 40 cookies (so that each person can have at least 4 of the same type of cookie). I’ve found from past cookie exchanges, 4-6 of each type of cookie is a good number to work with.
  3.  When the guests arrive, have each person write the name of the cookie they brought on an index card. This will serve as a label that can be placed in front of the container containing the cookies they brought.
  4. Make sure everyone brings something to take their cookies home in. I like to buy Holiday tins from craft stores because they keep the cookies fresh and they also make great decor pieces!
  5. Ask everyone to bring copies of their holiday cookie recipe.
  6. Have a contest! I decided to make the cookie exchange more interesting by having the attendees vote on their overall favorite cookie, best decorated cookie, and most unique cookie. Winners received baking themed prizes such as a cookbook, holiday oven mitts, and mixing bowls.
  7. Serve some warm hot chocolate or eggnog to add to the Christmas spirit.

 

Comment with your favorite cookie recipe below!

Angelica Lee (4)

 

Advertisements

The Perfect Winter Outfit For Her

I got this adorable knit winter outfit for Selena from OshKosh B’gosh. It’s going to be perfect for our Christmas trip to New York. Not only is it cute, but it’s also super soft and comfy (as you can see from the photo, Selena isn’t complaining).

Right now is the best time to shop for it because they are having amazing sales! Click here to get this look!
7addf492-7dfa-4506-b48a-d485a17cda7a5fa8aa2a-a8a2-4ffc-a295-ee7873f5c84f3c737107-3a6e-4945-8b16-8a8d71c77aa0

438e838b-fa78-4c02-8a8e-4a1d187565d254c4a2b9-b9d5-4513-a027-98bf30b9a1e8

Angelica Lee (4)

Tips From the Nutrition Experts on How to Eat Healthy this Holiday Season

The holiday season is quickly approaching and many find themselves filling up their calendar with holiday parties, which means they may also be filling up their bellies a bit too much. Being surrounded by lots of food and drinks in social situations can be worrisome, especially for someone who is trying to lose or maintain their weight. It’s best not to avoid the party (or parties for most) altogether, but to treat it as a challenge to overcome. Having a game plan prior to attending a holiday party is extremely important because it will help keep you mindful of your eating habits.

With knowing difficult healthy eating during the holidays can be, I asked a bunch of fellow Registered Dietitians (aka Nutrition Experts) for their tips on how to make healthy choices at holiday parties. 

healthyeatingduringtheholidays

“Focus on greens (start off the night with veggies appetizers/salad) and make sure you’re adequately hydrated before going into the holiday event! As this can all help prevent overeating at the holiday meal! “Yasi Ansari, MS, RD

“Have a healthy snack before you go to curb your appetite. Fill up 1/2 your plate with non-starchy vegetables.” Janet Brancato, MS, RDN

“Consider a party is more about enjoying talking to people, getting to know them and enjoying food thoughtfully, not just eating habitually or nervously to fill the time.” Michele Redmond, RD

“Avoid filling up on foods that you aren’t truly excited about and opt for fully enjoying your favorites instead.” Chelsea Jackle, MS, RD

Intermittent fasting. Lean protein and fiberous veggies. Come into dinner with a buffer of carbs and fats to play with but consume enough protein and fiber to stay satiated.”Jordan Gross, RD

“Survey the buffet or food table first to see what’s available then fill your plate with what you want e.g. you want that stuffing- go for it, and maybe don’t eat just the plain old bun.” Allegra Gast, RD

“If you want to eat it, eat it – but don’t overdo it”- Morgan Speik, RD

“Before the party, don’t skip meals and snacks to save for party calories. Doing so will only set you up for overeating. Do get in an exercise session to help you be more in-tune with your body and hunger. At the party, try to eat off of a plate and sitting down. This will help you be aware of how much you actually are eating.” Alyssa Ashmore, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD

“If you try something and don’t love it, there is no rule that says you have to finish it. If you’re afraid to offend the chef, you can say you are too full to eat another bite.”  Kacie Barnes, MCN, RDN

“If you’re at a holiday party with a lot of appetizers, I tell my clients they can eat whichever ones they want, but they all have to fit on one cocktail napkin or appetizer plate. Because they only have a limited amount of space, it forces them to think about which foods they really want while not feeling as though they are depriving themselves.” – Chloe Schweinshaut, RD, LDN

“Eat a high fiber, high protein meal before you go such as oatmeal with walnuts. It will curb “starving Marvin” from making bad food choices!” Jennifer O. Barr, MPH, RDN, LDN

“Don’t stress out about overeating during the holidays. Enjoy the many flavors, the company, the music, but most importantly enjoy yourself. Remember everyday isn’t a holiday, but always get back on track afterwards.” – Jaymar Saniatan, RD

“Prepare the day of the party by eating a breakfast and lunch that will keep you satisfied, so that you don’t arrive at the party hungry! Focus on getting in extra protein, fiber, and healthy fats. A veggie omelette with some avocado is a great option for breakfast, and a big salad with fish or meat and a dressing made with olive oil and sprinkled with nuts would make an ideal lunch. Then at the party, fill your plate with veggies and protein first (crudite, shrimp cocktail), before hitting the treats. Then, take only the foods that you know are “worth it,” and enjoy every bite! Another note: those foods made with love are always worth it…Grandma will always remember that you took a bite of her special pecan pie, but it’s not going to have a lasting impact on your health goals.” Melissa Groves, RDN, LD

“The holidays are all about enjoying time with people we may not get to see often and food can certainly be an extension of that enjoyment in a balanced way. Instead of stressing over how to eat at holiday parties, make the choice to have the foods you genuinely love or want to try, savor and enjoy them and see what it feels like to eat until satisfied instead of uncomfortably full most of the time.” Gretchen Zimmermann, RD, CNSC

“Wear snug pants, skirt or dress. It will be a constant reminder to eat moderately!” Christine Palumbo, RD.

“Eat foods you enjoy in satisfying amounts all year round. Then the holidays won’t be much different than normal. And if you happen to get overfull, recognize it’s normal to eat a little bit more of food you rarely get, it’s just one meal, don’t sweat it and trust your body to kick in it’s natural self regulation.” – Adina Pearson, RD 

Don’t skip meals in attempt to “save” calories for the big meal/party! This will leave you overly hungry and more likely to overeat (and be cranky!).” – Erin Burke, MS, RDN, LDN

“Beware of the caloric punch resulting from alcoholic beverages (especially mixed sugary drinks such as Cosmos) AND the lowering of inhibitions, likely to lead to eating more food than intended.” – Adrienne Raimo, Integrative and Functional Dietitian 

“Approach the holidays with gratitude and kindness. With food everywhere overeating is bound to happen and it’s not a big deal. It if becomes habitual, however, then this is an opportunity to assess your habits and get curious about what leads to overeating, but without judgement; what emotions are you experiencing; how does it feel in your body. Without help and practice, you may not stop overeating, but you can start to become more aware of your habit loops, and awareness is always the first step to change.”
Basheerah Enahora, RDN, LDN, MS, MBA

I hope these tips help you with eating healthy this holiday season! Don’t forget to click the  name of the RD to access their blogs for more healthy eating advice!

Angelica Lee (4) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stocking Stuffers For Him

One of my favorite things about Christmas is picking out small gifts to fill my husband’s stocking. Men can be pretty difficult to get gifts for. Especially if your husband, boyfriend, friend, or dad is anything like mine, and they won’t tell you want they want (ugh). So here’s a list of stocking stuffer ideas I came up with and have used over the years- husband approved, of course.

Stocking Stuffers For Him
Stocking Stuffers For Him by angelica-lee-agami featuring Sagaform
  1. A subscription to the Dollar Shave ClubI was first introduced to this company when I bought my husband their amazing Shave Butter for his Christmas stocking. If your man wants affordable, good-quality razors that can be shipped to his door as often as he wants- this club is for him! Or for you, if you are like me and steal his razors.
  2. Beef Jerky- Cause who doesn’t like beef jerky? Unless you are vegan, then there’s Vegan Jerky (after a quick Google search, it DOES exist.. I just can’t tell you what it’s made of). Calling all Vegans out there, let me know if it tastes good!
  3. Whiskey Rocks-  These are not only cool (ha, you see what I did there), but they are also very useful! Especially for avid whiskey drinkers. Purchased them for my husband and he has never gone back to ice cubes since.
  4. Phone case- Preferably an indestructible one that doesn’t get ruined when they are out doing manly things like chopping wood.
  5. After shave- Honestly, this is how to get him to stop stealing your lotion.
  6. A gift card- For iTunes, Game Stop, his favorite restaurant.
  7. Mini alcohol bottles- What he will need after purchasing your Christmas gifts. They sell mini alcohol bottles at most liquor stores.
  8. Hot sauce- Try to get a flavor he’s never tried before. I recommend ghost pepper hot if he’s been getting on your nerves this holiday season.
  9. Backscratcher- So you don’t have to do it for him.
  10. Drink koozie of his favorite sports team- Let’s go Giants!

 

Hope this list helps you pick out stocking stuffers for him this holiday season! 

 

Angelica Lee (4)

My Fall Favorites

Fall Scents
Burning a pumpkin or baked apple scented candle in your home can definitely put you in that fall mood! I love pumpkin scented wax melts.
Dark Lipstick and nail polish

 

Say goodbye to neon colors and say hello to those dark shades of red, purple !
Fall Decor
Fall Decor by angelica-lee-agami featuring halloween home decor
Get out the fake pumpkins and leaves to add a nice inexpensive fall touch to your home! To see how I decorated my home, click here.
Plaid Everything
Plaid Everything by angelica-lee-agami featuring plaid boots
Fall means it’s the right time to get out the leather boots & plaid shirts. An easy fall outfit: leather boots, long plaid shirt, & scarf.
Comment with your favorite fall favorites below!
Angelica Lee (4)