Happy Holidays!

Wishing you and your families a wonderful holiday season with lots of love. All the best for 2017! And remember, hydrate today for tomorrow.

 

Here are the links for our December posts in case you missed any of them!

Holiday Gift Giving  

Holiday Parties

Dear Father Griefmas

Staying Healthy over the Holidays 

We will be back next week! Lots of exciting things coming your way in 2017- follow us on Facebook so you don’t miss anything.

xo Ladies that Life

Dear Father Griefmas

Dear Father Griefmas,

I have heard you exist, that you are a real thing. Some people say you aren’t, that you can be overcome as long as we just keep smiling and ignore you. I see it on the news, I hear it from friends and family, where a loved one is lost and then you visit them.  Sometimes without their permission, with no warning or time to prepare.

I thought the holidays were for happiness, and growing up the holiday season truly was happy. We had lots of wonderful family traditions, delicious food and heaps of fun. The memories from past Christmas’s are plentiful and I’m very grateful for them. When putting away the decorations as a kid with Mom, she would always mention how much can change in a year and she would say, “wonder where we will be this time next year.” It was a gentle reminder to be grateful for each Christmas and to enjoy every moment.

And then you came. It wasn’t on my wish list, but you came.

Last year was our first Christmas without Dad. I chose not to go home but was lucky to have a dear friend visiting. With friends, Jeff, and lots of tears, I got through the holidays. It was my first taste at a Christmas not overflowing with joy. We did put up a few simple decorations and as I was pulling them out this year I thought about how much has changed since last year. I am thinking about those people that left us too soon and all of those people you will visit. I think about how much more prepared I am for this Christmas in my grieving process, and how grateful I am for everyone in my life.

No one wants you to visit, no one wants to experience a loss to a death or to a broken relationship, and no one wants to be alone at a time that celebrates togetherness.  Since losing my Dad, I am much more aware of the sadness people experience all year long, but especially during the holidays. A lovely friend texted me last year on Christmas Day with a picture of a candle burning. She said she was burning it for people who couldn’t be here on Candlelight vigilChristmas and let me know she was thinking of me and my family. It was simple, yet very meaningful.  The problem is, when you come visit us grievers, you forget to tell us we are not alone. I can only hope that everyone has someone who can remind them of that over the holidays.

This year, I know you will still come visit my family and lots of families around the world. As prepared as I can be for your arrival, it still feels overwhelming. This year I have a few things on my wish list. I would like to ask for people to be present, be grateful, and don’t be timid to reach out to friends or family members who cannot find their happy this year.

Wishing everyone lots of love this time of year.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

64 Tips for Coping with Grief at the Holidays

 

 

Foodie Friyay!- Soup Edition.

My mom always called this soup one that would, “stick to your ribs”. While this is not actually true, it does fit the bill of hearty, filling and delicious. And, the best part- easy.

It’s called Hamburger Soup. I hear you judging this already. Stop. It’s delicious. It is a Goodwin family classic.

Hamburger Soup 

  • 1.5 lbs ground beef
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 28 oz can of tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cans broth (I use one box)
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 4 carrots (chopped fine)
  • 3 sticks celery (chopped fine)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • parsley
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • pepper to taste
  • 8 tbsp barley

Brown meat and onions. Drain well. Combine all ingredients in large pot. Simmer covered- at least 2 hours (or all day). Great for entertaining, and freezes like a dream.

Tips: be generous with the beef as it makes it much better. And sometimes I get crazy and add extra carrots/celery. Own it.

 

It will thicken up as it simmers on the stove. It will make the whole house smell so good. And I should note, it’s kid friendly- I have had great reviews on this soup from the junior editions of houses.

Holiday Series Part 2: Holiday Parties

Holiday parties are usually filled with both dread and/or overjoy, and generally a cocktail or two too many. None the less, they can make for a good story… just as long as you’re not the punchline. Here are some handy tips to help even amateur party goers have enjoy these gatherings to the max.

Do

  • Arrive somewhat on time. Throw the people hosting this party a bone and don’t arrive hours after the event starts. Starts at 7? Be there before 830.
  • Bring the host/hostess a small gift. Package of cute napkins, a small lovely candle, a bottle of wine. Something that shows you are appreciative of their effort.
  • Bring some back up booze. I typically go with that I call ‘Insurance Revs’. They are a just-in-case back up bevy, but a pack of revs can turn a party from moderately fun to hella awesome quickly.
  • Work the room. Put yourself slightly outside your comfort zone and mingle with everyone. Not sure you can do this? See above re: insurance revs. Or google how to make small talk. I’d suggest sticking to safe topics like occupation, upcoming trips, hobbies or families.
  • Be aware that not every hostess wants you to bring your snowy wet boots in their home. Bring a change of shoes or be willing to go bare foot/ sock foot.

Do Not

  • Do not be the drunkest one at the party. Second drunkest is fine. But save that top place finisher for someone else.
  • Do not be the last to leave. It is annoying when the party is clearly over but that one person wants to stay and have a heart to heart over a night cap. Leave before you’re that person.
  • Do not bring children unless you are very sure they are welcome and even if the host/ess says that they are, ask around to other party-goers. If you are the only one bringing your kids, perhaps call up a babysitter for the night. No better buzz kill for your night (and most likely others) than to have little Johnny telling stories about his drunk uncle at school.
  • Do not be on your phone the whole party. Keep it close for babysitters/photos, etc but do try to leave the phone alone. Be present, chat with humans and enjoy yourself.
  • Do not hit on your coworkers, particularly the married ones.
  • Do not bring up heavy conversations to dampen the mood. Dying dog? Politics? Religion. Let’s pack that one up and save it for a party without the theme of holiday cheer

Best of luck!! And if you are ‘that person’ who is the butt of all jokes for most of the year, remember there is always next year to redeem yourself!

Staying healthy over the holidays

There are so many strategies to staying healthy over the holidays and endless posts and information available. Here are some standard tips:

  • Don’t eat sweets
  • Stay home
  • Don’t drink alcohol
  • Definitely don’t drink egg nog
  • Do not go to parties
  • Definitely don’t go to buffets.

There you have it! Just kidding. But what if you want to go to your work’s holiday party and get wasted in front of all your co-workers (and are responsible and have a designated driver of course)!? What about all of the potlucks and bake exchanges!? Staying healthy over the holidays does not have to be impossible. Here are a few things to consider over the holidays that will help you from ignoring your health and goals for an entire month.

Balance

If you are going to a “shot”luck on Friday night, make sure you have an extra healthy b’fast and lunch. There is no need to sabotage a whole day just because of one meal. Also, some preliminary hydration wouldn’t hurt either!

Never skip a meal

Try your very best not to ever skip a meal because you are already anticipating that you will overeat for one of them. Its a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy because you most certainly will, but also you will be extra hungry because you missed a meal! This will lead to overeating 100% of the time.

Exercise

Try not to drop your workout routines just because it is ‘the holidays.’ I love the holidays, hell I am even born on Christmas day, but the holidays do not need to be celebrated night and day for the entire month of December.

Be mindful

Think about whether or not your hunger is what is pushing you to the buffet table for round 2. Are you satisfied with what you ate? If you eat a second piece of dessert will you be twice as satisfied?

Say no

If someone is pushing their stupid, cherry filled cookie upon you and you really do not want it, SAY NO. You can say no thank you also. It is absolutely okay to refuse a dessert even if someone insists without as single ounce of an excuse. If you really want to throw out a line here is one “No thanks, I’m full.” Simple.

Stop with the Christmas baking

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard from co-workers that they need to get all of their Christmas baking done AND how much of their Christmas baking that they, themselves, eat. Why the eff do you need to bake 30 types of cookies and squares?! No one is going to die because they didn’t get a tin of your peanut butter balls because chances are they have 50 other tins in their freezer. If you have people in your life you like to bake for to show that you are thinking of them, try something new this year. Give a special ornament, a homemade wreath, a cute jar of preserves (surely you can trust yourself not to binge eat pickles or cranberry chutney whilst cooking it), or even a nice local product such as chocolate or cheese. Point is, no one is going to die without your baking.

Watch the liquid calories

Holiday punches, ciders, eggnogs, lattes, you name it. These delightful, yet extremely calorie laden beverages are bound to eff with your health goals. If you are going for a specialty beverage try to enjoy just one and switch to something a little lighter.

Best of luck, although with these tips and a little self-love, “the holidays” won’t be to blame!

 

 

Foodie Friyay

This recipe is from All Bran although after making them the first time I did make some adaptions to their original recipe. To check out the original, click here! People are always asking me for a healthy muffin recipe and the truth is that they barely exist. You can throw all the recipes in the world at me that have apple sauce and no fat and sweeteners and gross stuff, but they will never taste like a real muffin.  The difficulty with muffins is that they often have to be really high carb in order to taste half decent, so as far as I’m concerned a muffin at 31g, 3g of fiber, and 4.5g of protein AND still tastes like a muffin is as good as they get!

 

Print Recipe
Apple Harvest Muffins
Course Snack
Prep Time 20 Minutes
Cook Time 20 Minutes
Servings
Muffins
Ingredients
Course Snack
Prep Time 20 Minutes
Cook Time 20 Minutes
Servings
Muffins
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Stir and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine cereal, milk, oil, molasses, and egg; beat for approx 1 minute. Take a 1-2 minute break to check social media and then beat for another minute.
  3. Stir in shredded apple.
  4. Add wet mixture to dry mixture, stirring just until the mixture is moist. DO NOT OVERSTIR! Why you ask? Check out our gluten article! (http://ladiesthatlife.com/2016/10/17/eff-gluten-will-kill/)
  5. Add batter to muffin to cups
  6. Bake at 200C (400F) for approx 20 minutes until the tops of the muffins are golden brown.
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Holiday Series Part 1: Gift giving guide

Some people slay at giving gifts. You know the type- they pick things up throughout the year and know exactly what everyone on their list would love. They probably wrap it perfectly with matching bows and ribbons then post on November 29th that they are all done their shopping for the year so bring on the egg nog lattes. Then, there are the rest of us. If you missed all the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales or just forgot Christmas was this month- this is the post for you.

Gifts for a new relationship

Buying a gift for someone you know really well is tough let alone someone who is a fresh, label-less figure in your life. It is so much pressure! Do you spent a lot of money and show that you are way into the relationship and possibly more than the other person? Or do you spent barely anything but then give off the vibe that you don’t care or are super cheap?! Ideally, forget about cost and go for charming and thoughtful:

  • Dinner & movie passes (classic- but have you seen the trailer for Sing?) for a date night
  • Holiday themed sweaters, like this
  • Portable phone charger- so you never have to miss a text. awwwww
  • A little staycation at a cabin or cottage for a night in the middle of nowhere
  • A subscription to a beer or meat of the month club (Note: my husband receives a monthly meat subsciption in the mail and I do not condone it but he seems to love it!)

Gifts for someone you’re going to “turkey” dump

Not familiar with the turkey dump? Allow me to explain. Generally, if you are doing a long distance relationship, the first time you will get to see one another is at a major holiday. For students, the first holiday is typically Thanksgiving. If your relationship was to ever to end, it is quite likely that it will happen while one of you is home on said holiday. Hence, the turkey dump. This applies to all turkey holidays alike! So in the event you’re about to do a turkey dump over Christmas break but want to wait until all the festivities are over so that you don’t seem like a complete Grinch (or other colourful words), here are some passive aggressive gift ideas that will show that you have put zero thought into your gift and are about to break up:

  • Gift cards to practical stores such as groceries or gas
  • A box set to a show s/he has never seen or has showed interest in
  • A gift bag of toiletries
  • A tie
  • One concert ticket to Adele or Taylor Swift where s/he can share tears with thousands and plan a tasteful revenge!
  • A cat

Gifts for the un-giftable

  • Growler from a local drinking hole
  • Christmas book from a local author
  • Donation to a charity in their name
  • Consumable items (wine/chocolate/baileys)
  • Photo in a frame of you and this ungiftable soul
  • Chrissy Teigan’s cookbook- Cravings. Because it’s awesome.

Gifts for her:

  • Fit bit (make sure she is in to fitness, it can’t be a hint hint)
  • Car starter
  • Lululemon Wunder Under tights
  • Watch/jewelry- micheal kors, kate spade earrings, or something local
  • Day of relaxation: Massage and pedi
  • Staycation: night at a nice hotel nearby to enjoy with her girlfriends for a much needed escape
  • Swell bottle & a good book
  • Specialty tea and a tea mug or on the go french press
  • Snow shoes
  • Yoga/workout classes (Again, choose your audience wisely!)
  • Make up subscription such as Ipsy or Topbox
  • Kitchen Aid mixer

Gifts for him:

  • Tree Hut wooden watch (I bought one of these for my husband after being sucked in by a Facebook advertisement and they are actually quite cool)
  • Blundstones
  • Concert tickets/sports game tickets
  • Fit bit
  • A unique gym bag from Elephant Branded (If you haven’t heard of this company before their bags and morals are awesome!)
  • Bluetooth headphones
  • Wireless speaker
  • Pocket knife/multitool
  • Saxx undies
  • Safety razor

Hopefully you are now inspired and full of great ideas. Don’t forget to follow us on all social medias.

Happy Shopping!

xo Ladies that Life

Foodie Friyay!- OSG One Bowl Jumbo Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Welcome to Foodie Friyay!

15302394_751888883327_2139246710_o

I was determined to use crushed candy cane in a recipe this week (#basic). I searched for a recipe that would be healthy, easy, and delicious. Found one, baked it, hated it, and had to start over.

15292795_751888853387_1639286360_o Don’t be fooled. These tasted like spongy cardboard.

I ended up using a die hard favourite recipe of mine- Oh She Glows One Bowl Jumbo Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Long name, but hella good cookie.

Don’t let the ingredient list scare you. Check out the health food section or I am a frequent user of well.ca. It’s one bowl which means easy clean up – always a bonus. And because I was determined to make them festive, I added crushed candy cane. I make these cookies so frequently, the ingredients found their way into these glass jars.

img_1457

From experience, I’m going to suggest you follow the directions exactly as instructed. The batter is quite wet, but are amazingly not sticky and cook fast! 8-9 minutes! I should add- Oh She Glows uses dairy free chocolate chunks, but I prefer the dairy free chips. Either way- they turn out great. I have been known to use both chips and chunks at the same time. Wild, I know.

15302552_751888848397_51254715_o

The recipe suggests making them jumbo, which I did this time and it made a dozen cookies. I have made smaller ones before just to get more cookies. You will not regret making these delicious chocolatey treats!

img_1458

Don’t let the word ‘vegan’ throw you off. Trust me. Oh She Glows would never lead you astray. Her website is ohsheglows.com – check it out.

Have a wonderful weekend. Don’t forget to follow Ladies that Life on Instagram and Facebook! This post is not sponsored- I simply love Oh She Glows. Just spreading her amazing recipes to all I can. Thank you to all of our amazing Ladies that Life followers- we love you!

15292655_751888868357_1018141867_o P.S. Aren’t these the cutest measuring spoons ?! Latest amazon find.

Foodie Friyay- OSG Jumbo Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Welcome to Foodie Friyay!

15302394_751888883327_2139246710_o

I was determined to use crushed candy cane in a recipe this week (#basic). I searched for a recipe that would be healthy, easy, and delicious. Found one, baked it, hated it, and had to start over.

15292795_751888853387_1639286360_o Don’t be fooled. These tasted like spongy cardboard.

I ended up using a die hard favourite recipe of mine- Oh She Glows One Bowl Jumbo Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Long name, but hella good cookie.

 

Don’t let the ingredient list scare you. Check out the health food section or I am a frequent user of well.caIt’s one bowl which means easy clean up – always a bonus. And because I was determined to make them festive, I added crushed candy cane. I make these cookies so frequently, the ingredients found their way into these glass jars. 

img_1457

From experience, I’m going to suggest you follow the directions exactly as instructed. The batter is quite wet, but are amazingly not sticky and cook fast! 8-9 minutes! I should add- Oh She Glows uses dairy free chocolate chunks, but I prefer the dairy free chips. Either way- they turn out great. I have been known to use both chips and chunks at the same time. Wild, I know.

15302552_751888848397_51254715_o

The recipe suggests making them jumbo, which I did this time and it made a dozen cookies. I have  made smaller ones before just to get more cookies. You will not regret making these delicious chocolatey treats! img_1461

 

 

 

 

Don’t let the word ‘vegan’ throw you off. Trust me. Oh She Glows would never lead you astray. Her website is ohsheglows.com – check it out.

 

Have a wonderful weekend. Don’t forget to follow Ladies that Life on Instagram and Facebook! This post is not sponsored- I simply love Oh She Glows. Just spreading her amazing recipes to all I can. Thank you to all of our amazing Ladies that Life followers- we love you!

    15292655_751888868357_1018141867_o  P.S. Aren’t these the cutest measuring spoons ?! Latest amazon find. 

 

Print Recipe
Foodie Friyay- OSG Jumbo Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Course Dessert
Cuisine Vegan
Servings
Course Dessert
Cuisine Vegan
Servings
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