happy HEALTHY holidays

Wow, it's been quite the holiday season so far. I mentioned it before but I feel like I've been drowning in festive parties, gatherings, meetings, gift buying, crowded malls, santa sightings, tree lightings and the list goes on. 

Sometimes I just want to sit at home, turn on Thomas the Train, sit with my youngest son, make a healthy dinner and just veg out! Wait, that's exactly what we're doing RIGHT now. It's quiet in here and I am in peace. HAAALLLEEELLLUUUYAAAHHHH! {now all I need is a good game of words with friends...oh, and I have that going on too}! My night couldn't be better.

I do have a semi-annoying story. I had a great recipe to post last week but somehow it got thrown out or lost. I was so sad and just decided to not post a darn thing all week. I ran out of extra time to do it all over again. The candied and spiced nuts turned out great though and made great gifts. {see photos below}

More specifically, I soaked the nuts and seeds overnight, dried them out and added sauces. Then I dehydrated them for about 12 hours until they were crunchy again. 

For the pecans I used maple sugar, cinnamon, maple syrup, water, a touch of sea salt and vanilla. For the sunflower seeds I did sea salt, cumin and paprika? I think. Something like that.

Anyways, they make great snacks if you feel like playing around with this idea and doing your own special candied nuts.

I thought I'd share some fun photos from the past week with you for now. I just love this time of year, despite the madness, the money wasted/spent and the gluttony! It's all sort of worth it in the end, even though when it's over you are sometimes left with a strange quiet, disappointed, empty feeling. {and you want to throw up because your kids were just totally spoiled by "Santa" on top of the fact that you totally LIED to them about it}. But it's only, thankfully, once a year.

I'm finally starting to build our family ornament collection as well. This year I found these beet and carrot ornaments quite fitting for my 2011 tree. And I spent the day today, while my boys were in school, wrapping and wrapping all my gifts for family, friends and my kids, too {yep, I'm officially done!}

I just had to buy this beautiful gold glitter paper. It was $10 {yeah, I know, what a joke} and not very eco friendly so I also bought recyclable kraft paper to wrap the rest. I often use old tissue paper and newspaper as well. 

I just use lots of pretty bows and ribbon {some of which are also compostable and recyclable}. 

Have a lovey week and good luck with all your gift shopping and wrapping.