Homemade Christmas

So this year I tried a bunch of new Christmas Cookie recipes….but none of them were really my own, so I thought I’d just do a quick little round-up post so you can see all the goodies I made :)

As you can see, I was a busy little bee :)

1) Peppermint Shortbread- I used this recipe and subbed peppermint extract for vanilla and added crushed candy canes.

2) Reese’s Stuffed Peanut Butter M&M Cookies-  I used this recipe and subbed m&ms for chocolate chips.

3) Cinnamon Roll Cookies- I used this recipe and subbed plain almonds for the nuts and left off the glaze.

4) Chocolate Caramelitas- I made these for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. I used this recipe with skim milk, chocolate chips, m&ms and pecans.

5) Molasses Cookies- I used this recipe and left out the cloves.

6) Peppermint Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies- I used this recipe and subbed applesauce for 1/2 the butter, decreased both sugars by 1/4 cup, used m&ms instead of white chocolate and added extra oats.

7) Toffee Chocolate Squares- I used this recipe but used half the butter, left out the nuts, added m&ms and spread the chocolate chips out when they melted.

8 ) Fudgy Cookies w/ Reese’s- I used this recipe but subbed skim milk for yogurt and added chopped Reese’s.

Put them all together and you’ve got one heck of a cookie plate to give to people!

This year, I was also looking for ideas for Christmas presents that I could make at home. I decided I wanted to make some homemade gift baskets.

Several weeks ago I started searching for ideas. The first one I decided on was homemade vanilla extract! As I kept searching, I ended up with a decent sized list and I was ready to get to work.

Here’s what I ended up putting together:

Included in the baskets above, which I made for my managers at work and a couple friends:

-A loaf of homemade bread
-A loaf of quickbread (either pumpkin or banana) in a cute disposable miniloaf pan
-A ball jar full of homemade granola
Homemade chapstick
Homemade Moisturizing Lemon Hand Scrub
Peppermint Bark in a Cookie Cutter Homemade Vanilla Extract

These turned out to be a huge hit! They were relatively inexpensive AND they were fun to put together :) A few  pieces of ribbon that I had laying around, some scrapbook paper cut with fun scissors for labels, cardboard boxes covered in wrapping paper and stuffed with tissue paper, some ball jars I had in the basement and a few $1.00 plastic containers.

Do you give homemade gifts?

Happy Holidays!

Today’s Workout:

I hopped on the treadmill this morning and walked another 3 miles. For the first 20 minutes I walked and read at 3.5 mph, incline 7.0. From minutes 20-25 I bumped it up to 3.7 mph. Then I put the book down and bumped it up to 4.0 mph. When I hit 2 miles, I increased my speed to 4.2 mph and finished 3 miles in 47:05.

After a short break for lunch, I headed back to the basement and did a new 100 workout. I modified the one I’ve been doing on Mondays: http://www.healthywithheather.com/2011/11/100-workout-strength/

And made it all legs.

Here’s what it looked it:

100 Workout-Legs

This took me 23 minutes. I used weights for the 100 squats, deadlifts and calf raises but did the rest with just bodyweight. My goal was to finish in under 25 minutes.

About Lindsay

Lindsay Livingston is a Registered Dietitian and new mom from Columbus, Ohio. On her blog, she shares simple, healthy recipes, nutrition tips, workouts and snapshots of her life. Follow her on Twitter @LeanGrnBeanBlog and Instagram @TheLeanGreenBean and be sure to subscribe via RSS or email so you never miss a post!


  1. wow – i am so impressed with all of your homemade gifts! i decided that next year is going to be a homemade christmas! i’ve already started pinning and starring ideas. :)
    sarah (sarah learns) recently posted..let me count the ways

  2. Yumm so many good things here! I love giving homemade things as gifts. I love receiving homemade gifts as well 😀

  3. awww, what fun presents! i definitely love giving homemade food gifts.
    Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef recently posted..Cranberry-Pineapple Sauce

  4. So, I have a proposition for you…COME WORK WITH ME!!! I’m a lot of fun to be around…promise! :)
    Parita @ myinnershakti recently posted..15 Minute Fitness

  5. Wow! You have some lucky friends!
    Stephanie @ On the Road to RD recently posted..A (Food) Plan of Action

  6. HOLY COW so many delicious looking treats! You have definitely been a busy bee! :)
    Lauren @ Lawfully Wedded Wife recently posted..A Holly, Jolly Weekend

  7. Love the idea of homemade chapstick. I just found a recipe for a vegan one, and the site had homemade recipes for a bunch of household and beauty stuff!
    Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles recently posted..Fresh Start

  8. Wow, that is very impressive work! One year for Christmas, I made a CD of various Christian songs I like and gave it out to family and friends. I also like giving cookies as gifts. :)
    Kristen @ notsodomesticated recently posted..Martha’s Mac & Cheese

  9. You are amazing! Those gift baskets rock! :)
    Abby @ Abz ‘n’ Oats recently posted..graduation

  10. This is such a cute idea! Those cinnamon roll cookies in particular sound amazing.
    Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table recently posted..Catering Survival + 2 Holiday Cheese Dishes

  11. Oh my gosh those homemade gifts are so cute! I’ll definitely have to remember that idea for next year!
    Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health recently posted..A Q-Tip Can Be a Toy

  12. Oh my goodness. I am so impressed by these!
    Your creativeness is amazing! And everything looks so delicious. I love making homemade gifts for my friends but I’ve never done anything quite this extensive. I’m inspired!
    Your friends are miiighty lucky. :)
    Emily recently posted..Home: Where The Heart Is

  13. wow, all of these gifts are amazing! every year I say that I will do homemade gifts, and every year I don’t do it…I suppose there is still time for next weekend!
    Rachel @ The Avid Appetite recently posted..Secret Recipe Club: Chicken Noodle & Corn Casserole

  14. You can send me a homemade gift 😉
    Matt @ The Athlete’s Plate recently posted..Week In Review: 12/12/11-12/18/11

  15. That is seriously the best homemade gift bundle ever!!!!!!!! I totally need to start doing stuff like this for P’s care packages! I’ll be bugging you for tips super soon =) MWAH!!!!!
    Jenn @ Peas and Crayons recently posted..Mirror Mirrors… all OVER the wall

  16. Aww, those little gift baskets are so cute! I would be very happy to receive one, that’s for sure.
    Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) recently posted..Flourless Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

  17. Thanks for doing this sweetie :) I love how you noted your substitutions too! THANK U! I want to do baking when I get home :) If I want to alter the recipe a bit I might just come to you??????? 😉

  18. love the idea of homemade gifts! and girl you out did yourself because everything looks great!!

  19. So many delicious treats! I love giving homemade gifts :) But since I’m flying home, food gifts are sort of out of the question. My whole bag got emptied and searched last time because I packed peanut flour! haha
    Liz @ iheartvegetables recently posted..Time-Saving Caramel Dip

  20. Yowza! You are a baking queen! I bow down!!! Amazing. Truly amazing!


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