I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas (or if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you had a fabulous Saturday!). My Christmas started Wednesday and Thursday when I had both days off from work, which was lovely. I made pumpkin butter for some family and friend gifts.

Pumpkin Butter
(Recipe from Joanna)

Ingredients

2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup honey
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 T cinnamon
1 T pumpkin spice
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t salt

Directions
Mix everything together in a large bowl! Simple.

Even though this recipe contained honey, which is not a part of my Low FODMAPs diet, I still had to taste it before giving it away as a gift. It was delicious.

I put some in these glass jars, wrote the expiration date on the bottom (about one week was my guess) and then wrapped them in tissue paper with a bow.

I also made these peppermint rocky road bars. You can find the simple recipe here. I must say, they tasted amazing.

On Friday I had to work, which wasn’t such a big deal. Friday evening we went to Nick’s mother’s house to have a nice Italian dinner and of course to open gifts. I really enjoy giving gifts more than getting gifts. I love to watch the kids open their gifts because it makes me feel like a kid again myself. Do you feel that way sometimes? The girls in the picture below are Nick’s adorable nieces.

I wanted to share how I’ve been doing with the Healthy Holiday Challenge. My goal was/is to be good at not going overboard on food and drinks at parties (from Christmas through new year’s eve, and of course the rest of the year!). I’ll be honest, it’s the drinks that mainly do me in. I’m not a big drinker, but for some reason around the holidays I become sort of a lush. I challenged myself to limit my drink intake and to stop eating when I was full. This was in no way a weight-loss or even weight maintenance challenge, but instead it was a challenge to see if I could practice what I preach around the holidays. Just because I don’t have a weight problem does not make it ok to binge on food and drinks, right?! So, on Christmas Eve, I failed big time.

I wasn’t planning on drinking this mint white chocolate martini, but I did.

Then I was offered my favorite beer, and I just couldn’t say no!

So I didn’t practice what I preach. I had a glass of red wine, a couple beers, and a martini. I was in complete “vacation” and “holiday” mode. I didn’t overeat, but I did drink a bit too much, probably. Oh well, I had a fabulous time!

And so did Nick, even though he refused to smile for this picture.

There were lots of yummy sweets.

And I received a lot of “foodie gifts”.

Then yesterday (Christmas) we went to my parent’s house and I did a very good job of focusing on friends and family, and not on food and drinks. The day started off on a happy note, it was a White Christmas!

Nick and I opened our presents from each other. Nick always gets me the best Hallmark cards that make me tear up. I pretend he wrote them  Then he also does a great job of picking out simple yet amazing gifts! This made my day;

There will be many summer popsicle posts this year!

Starting the first week in January I will be weighing the employees (where I work) who took part in my Healthy Holiday Challenge. Their goal was to not gain any weight over the holidays, or even better, to lose weight if necessary! Several of the employees have already come to my office to get weighed-in half way through the holidays. I’m happy to say that two of them have already lost over seven pounds!

My next couple posts will include my New Year’s resolutions (yes, I know, joy!) and my favorite foods and products of 2011.

Tonight Nick and I are having my parents, his mom and sister, plus some family friends over for game night. On Christmas we played Balderdash and I’m hoping everyone is willing to play again! Have you played it? It’s one of my all time favorite games to play with a large group of fun people. My aunt and mother were especially entertaining. And guess what? There were sports playing in the background but this game kept everyone’s attention!

Even the dog had a fun time.

Enjoy the last week of 2010!