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Happy Holidays & Super Busy Christmas!

Bonjour Christmas Lovelies!
I am wishing one and all a very merry Christmas from my family to yours, I pray the whole season is filled with the love of our Lord & Savior, beautiful moments, smiles & cheer to warm your hearts, and delicious treats.
It's going to be quiet on the blog and recipe front for a few weeks into January, the days are so jam packed right now, loads to get done, and I am thankfully away to visit family. Feeling very blessed and grateful.
The new year will bring fresh posts,  loads of different information & gluten free recipes that will keep you coming back for more; so check back in from time to time, you won't be disappointed. Don't forget to subscribe!

Poppa Bear & I send you all happy, healthy, joy filled, safe, loving, holiday season prayers, and all the best for the new year! 

                            Hot cocoa hugs too!!!

DIY Christmas Hot Cocoa Recipe 3 Ways


Bon matin lovelies!
This is the last holiday recipe post for December and I wanted it to be packed with fun and able to bring up good, comforting, and happy memories. 
What says Comfort like hot cocoa?
I like it so much, little packets remind me of my youngin' years but now, with numerous allergies, I prefer making my own recipes and giving them as gifts. 
It's a great last minute prezzie, is a perfect DIY project that can become a beautiful shared Christmas tradition, you can get the kids involved to make it, and is yumminess on Christmas morning!
It's easy peasy and tastes so much better than the store bought stuff, you won't want to go back. Enjoy & don't forget to subscribe! 

(This mix makes 3 glass milk jars 3/4 full and then there is room for marshmallows. I add marshmallows in the mix for regular hot cocoa, no marshmallows for peppermint because it's very sweet, and on top for mocha. Milk jars can also be purchased on Etsy or at Michael's.) 

1/2 Cup Brute Cocoa powder
3 Tbsp gluten-free Chocolate pudding powder
1 3/4 Cup Icing sugar
2 Scoops French Vanilla Protein Powder (heat stable)
1 Cup Powdered skim milk
1/2 tsp Pink sea salt
1 Cup Chocolate chips

-Mix all in a bowl except chips
-In a blender add powder and chips, whiz until chips are blended in and no longer have chunks.
-Pour into container of choice, decorate by adding a square of fabric held in place with an elastic, tied with ribbon to hide the elastic, adding a name tag and a tag with instructions, like the one down below.
-Add marshmallows on top before closing jar if you like. 

I reuse glass containers, my favourite one's are milk bottles but the labels are annoying to get the sticky off.
The best way is to remove the label, add a paste made with 1 part baking soda and 2 parts oil that you slather on the sticky part, allow to sit 10 minutes, then rinse and wash up. Bottles are good to go and the effort has saved you money and helped the planet.

I use a piece of parchment paper to carefully pour the mix into the bottles.

I have made three flavours, the protein Mocha which is a much healthier recipe is down below. For the peppermint hot cocoa, I made the above recipe and added 1/4 Cup ground candy canes.
Because the milk jars I used had Starbucks lids, I added round paper cutouts glued on with glue gun glue, to hide them and then covered the bottles with the squares of material and ribbon.



Here are tags with directions, feel free to cut and paste these and copy to make as many as you need:

Peppermint Hot Cocoa
Directions: Add 2-3 Tbsp mix to 8 oz. boiled water or heat 2-3 Tbsp 
of mix with 8 oz milk in pot on stove.

Hot Cocoa
Directions: Add 2-3 Tbsp mix to 8 oz. boiled water or heat 2-3 Tbsp 
of mix with 8 oz milk in pot on stove.


(This mix made enough to fill one mason jar) 
4 Scoops Vanilla Protein (Heat stable)
1/2 Cup Organic coconut sugar
1/4 Cup Brute cocoa powder
1/4 tsp Pink sea salt
1/4 Cup Dark chocolate chips
1 Tbsp Instant coffee of choice
2 Tbsp gluten-free chocolate pudding


-Mix all ingredients except chips and coffee in a bowl, add this mix with chips and coffee into a blender, whiz until no chunks remain.

Here is the tag:

Mocha Hot Cocoa
Directions: Add 2-3 Tbsp mix to 8 oz. boiled water or heat 2-3 Tbsp 
of mix with 8 oz milk in pot on stove.


The Spirit of Hope at the Holidays

Good day lovelies,
It's almost Christmas, I am making an extra effort to keep the focus where it belongs, as I am busy getting ready for my holiday fun, which Abba has kindly blessed me with. I am very excited, super busy, and feeling a bit high-strung some days. That is when I take a moment, deep breathes, and get me some Jesus & God time in.
I have this great little app called Bible Promise Box, every morning I can go to it first thing and get a biblical promise that helps bolster my spirit. 
Poppa Bear and I have been listening to our sermons from Chip Ingram about heaven and some holiday centered sermons from Alistair Begg; as well as doing readings. 
It's keeping our faith strong, giving us hope, especially to cope with the distance between us at this time of the year, and with refreshing our love for Jesus.
Hope, the nourishing warmth that bolsters the soul... 

I found some pictures and that have been a comfort and am sharing them here. 
I pray that you find some peace, are blessed with God's grace and feel His unending love. God keep you in His heart & bless you always.

Grinchmas Gifts aka Dirty Santa DIY Christmas

Morning Holiday Peeps!
Today I am providing you with a totes fab way to save money for the holidays!
Grinchmas Gifts aka the Dirty Santa Game!
You're just a few lines and ideas away from having a great, fun, simplified, and money saving lower stress Christmas!
Because we all need to avoid this monster:

No touchie!

Our fam did this at the last big holiday get-together, and it was so awesome!

We played Grinchmas Gifts with a twist.
It's called Grinchmas/Dirty Santa because you steal one another's gifts. 
Don't worry, everybody gets a gift. 
The instructions are down below, just scroll way down to get to em'.
For ours there was a $5 cap -you can go higher if you like, one had to get a gender neutral gift, and had to wrap it, then drop it in our bag the minute you walked in the door; so nobody knew who brought what.
We all followed the regular rules and had such a blast, I was surprised how well this went over. These were some of the gifts that were at the Grinchmas gift exchange:

The jam was actually a blueberry flavour but this company has particularly good jams & a wide array of flavours, we have fig in the house this time, so that's the pic you get. Also, this jam was on special, so it stayed at the $5 price cap and it's sweetened with grape juice. Bonus!

Pop Tarts were popular, I got these at the dollar store. I checked the dates to make sure they were still good and grabbed two boxes. I was smiling because I thought these would not be appreciated but I was so wrong, there were hoots of happiness. Pop Tarts are still enjoyed by the kid in all of us.
                                                    Image result for pop tarts 

Nutella was another item that went over well...
                                                            Image result for nutella
There were cat S&P shakers:
                                                       Image result for cat salt and pepper shakers
We don't know why but the item that was fought over the most was a soap and lotion set, don't ask me because I preferred the agenda I got, but there you have it.
                                           Image result for hand soap gift set 

Maple syrup is also a great idea, especially when it's on special for $4.99.
Just make sure to wrap gifts in things that make it tough for people to figure out what they are. One person wrapped socks in a tampax box, there was a bit of initial surprise and slight discomfort, then hilarity when the socks came out. Get creative & make sure that you all have fun. The amount you decide to spend is up to you but make sure you are considerate of everybody's financial constraints, you must insist that EVERYONE sticks to the agreed upon budget, no other gifts need be given out at the family/friend's gathering. 
Privately, with immediate family, we do a few extra's but those are our choice, we stick to a budget, and usually make most of them.
So let me know any questions or stories you may have to share, and don't forget to subscribe!

Grinchmas Gifts aka Dirty Santa: How to Play the Tricky Christmas Gift Exchange Game

Ask five people how to play Dirty Santa, and you will probably hear five different answers. Here is a rundown of the basic directions for this adult Christmas game. Feel free to change them as the game goes on! No matter how you play this fantastic Christmas party game, this activity will definitely be a hit among friends and family alike!
How to Play Dirty Santa 
Everyone playing the game brings a wrapped gift so there is no indication about what is inside. Place the gifts together under the tree or on a table.
The host writes a number on scrap pieces of paper for every gift and places them in a basket, bowl or hat.
Each person draws a number. Getting a higher number is actually better because you will have more opened gifts to choose from.
The person with #1 picks a gift to open from the pile. The person with #2 can choose to open another package or steal the gift from #1. If a gift is stolen, the person who had it then steals from someone else or picks another gift to open.
The game continues like this until everyone takes a turn opening or stealing a gift. The last person to go can steal from anyone in the game or open the remaining gift.
Once a gift is stolen three times, it is retired from the game.

Variations on Dirty Santa Game Play 

Instead of playing your favorite Christmas games for adults the same way year after year, why not change up the game a little. These variations can make playing more of a challenge and even let you give back to your community.

Set a price 

It is practically a given that some people will spend more money than others when buying a gift. Since the fun is in playing the game, ask everyone to spend about $10 on a decent gift to balance out the quality in the selection.

Choose a theme 

Have guests bring a specific type of gift. It could be a tree ornament, a book or a bottle of wine.

Play for charity 

Instead of gifts for participants to take home, bring toys, games and books for children. Everyone can still have fun stealing, but at the end of the party donate the gifts to a favorite charity. This is a great alternative for a White Elephant gift exchange. Just bring gently used items from home that your kids no longer play with.
Dirty Santa vs. White Elephant 

Dirty Santa 

The game is called "dirty" because participants steal gifts from one another trying to end up with the best, or at least not the worst, gift.

White Elephant 

This Christmas party game for adults is essentially the same concept as Dirty Santa except the present is often re-gifted or an inexpensive gag gift.

These instructions come from:

Ways to Cope with Holiday Stress & Quick Recipes

Bonjour my holiday loverlies!
What a perfect day to discuss coping with holiday stress, finding your center, and keeping all aspects of your health on track, while holding on to what is truly important at this time of the year. 

The holidays are a whirl of activity, a flurry of movement, an avalanche of stress that can overwhelm very quickly and soon you become the Christmas victim. I know you are super busy so I am going to keep this post short and sweet with some calming, healthy, and Godly direction to help us all get through.

One of the most important things is delegating and learning that you NEED to ask for help, stick to your guns about making people keep their commitment to help you, and ignore any guilt that tries to creep in over asking and getting the help you need. 
I am serious! 
It's about everyone celebrating, that includes you. 
This means everybody gets to pitch in. 
Now you know, so make simple clear lists, add pictures to them so no mistakes are made, write places to find what is needed, and tell them to get er did!

A very important aspect to getting on track is simple advanced meal prep, make breakfast porridge you can portion & eat through the week, sandwiches, soups, stews, bean salads, snacks, all ready for the week. Do this early on Sunday, I listen to a sermon while I prepare. This makes Monday through Friday a much more pleasant experience. Check Pinterest for recipes and ideas. Here are a few links along with some easy recipes, they taste yummy and are quick to make.




Quick Lunch: (Feel free to toss in some extra protein of choice or a sandwich.


2 Tbsp Hemp Heart's
I English cucumber. peeled and deseeded (Taking out the seeds makes cucumber easier to digest because the seeds contain a lot of cellulose that is difficult, sometimes painful to digest.)
2-3 Vine Tomatoes, chopped
1 Bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 Lemon zested and juiced
3 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil

-In a bowl, combine all listed ingredients and stir gently.
-Add salt & pepper to taste, then chill for 30 minutes before serving.
Salad must be eaten fresh the same day.


2 Cans cooked, rinsed, and drained lentils of your choice.
1 Bunch scallion (green spring onion), chopped
Juice & zest of 2 limes
12 Fresh basil leaves, sliced into a chiffonade (see pic below)
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin olive oil

-In a bowl gently mix all ingredients together.
-Add salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste.
-Chill 4 hours or overnight, stir gently and taste for enough salt and pepper before serving. Add a bit more if needed.

Salad lasts 3 days in fridge, not suitable for freezing.

Easy Dinner:
This is a great time saving, super duper easy, and oh so delicious recipe. 
Warning, it's one that gets gobbled up quickly and the scent wafting through the house will tease your taste buds mercilessly; it's worth it to wait. 


1 Chicken weighing 3-4 lbs 
or 5-6 legs with thighs. 
Spice slather: (all spices are dry & ground) 
1 tsp thyme 
1 tsp poultry seasoning 
1 tsp bayleaf
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper 
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp garlic granules
2 Tbsp Mild paprika 
1/3 Cup Extra virgin olive oil 
2 Cloves pressed garlic

-In a bowl, mix all spices, fresh garlic, and then mix in olive oil. Be careful to stir slowly so oil doesn't splatter. Reserve. 
-Place clean chicken in a shallow baking dish lined with tin foil. 
-Very carefully lift skin away from flesh but don't remove it, you want it for cooking. 
-Once prepared, put on gloves, begin slathering the wet spice mix 1 tsp at a time under the skin onto the legs, breasts, and then do the same to the skin outside. Keep some for the cavity. 
-Rub it into the skin and rub the rest into the cavity. 
-Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in fridge minimum 4 hours or overnight. 
-Preheat oven to 450 degrees F, cook the uncovered chicken for 15 minutes and then lower the heat to 225 degrees F and cook for 1 1/2 hours. 
-Remove from oven and baste, place back in oven for 2 1/2- 3hours. 
-Remove from oven, make sure that when you poke the thigh that the juices run clear of blood. If not, then cook for an additional 30 minutes. (I don't usually need to but ovens vary, as do size of chickens. The chicken will fall off the bone when ready. 
-When removed from the oven, tent the chicken for 10 mins. before serving. 
-Enjoy hot with your favourite potatoes and greens,and share with someone you love. 

I would recommend looking through some previous posts for holiday rawfood, energy snacks that are no bake.
Next, we go to uber important stuff. It's the fact that you need to rest.
Grab power naps everywhere and anywhere you need to.
Skip late nights for a while and get extra sleep by going to bed early. You can record your favourite shows or movies to catch up on later on, get a massage if you need, and you have my permission to take break and rest!!!!!

Okay, now onto what you may dread.
You do need to exercise but you have no time, no worries. I have that covered too.
This 2 minute workout coupled with a walk during the day (DO IT!!!!!), will be a huge help.
I also included a wake up and goodnight yoga sequence, and exercise ball stuff because it's yoga/exercise ball awesomness! You are welcome.

Lastly, but most importantly, make time for Jesus in your life. Here is a prayer to set you free from all this holiday worry and a reminder about the true meaning behind this season. Now get out there and tackle the week with a simple and effective plan!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.-Isaiah 9:6