Simple Gifts

December 16, 2011


After wrapping up my to-do list this afternoon, I spent this evening putting together my Christmas gifts. I’ve been gathering items for weeks, but tonight I put them in bags (I’m digging simplicity this year and bags are easier than wrapping paper!) I was going to rubber stamp these with holiday things, but then I decided a greener thing to do would be to leave them simple and allow the receivers to use them again for another holiday! I know I am always looking for a nice gift bag!


So instead of stamping the bags, I stamped the tags! [Stamp from Michael’s, tags from Hobby Lobby]


This is my family’s pile. Not sure when Matt’s family’s will appear! We split our holiday shopping so that he does his family and I do mine and we each get a distribution of cash with which to shop.

Now I just have Matt’s gifts to finish…and then start thinking about his birthday in January!

Earlier this afternoon I sipped one of the most delicious simple smoothies I’ve ever made:


I’d maybe even call this a milkshake because it was soooo frothy! I guess I accidentally frothed the milk in my Vita-mix!

Clem-sicle Smoothie

Generally I don’t ever want to mix dairy and citrus. It makes me think of clumping. But when I had a clementine in my hand today something told me to blend it and this was amazingly refreshing!

  • 1 clementine
  • 3/4 cup 2% organic milk
  • 1/2 large banana
  • 5 ice cubes

–> blend.

Cville Cluster crumbles on top


All day long I looked forward to dinner. Because I didn’t have to cook it!


Leftover split pea soup was scheduled!


Served with more Rosemary Garlic!


Blog reader Grace sent me this chocolate bar from her hometown – Crispy Coconut Kaffir Lime Dessert Bar


Man-oh-man did it make a great dessert! I had about 4 of these cubes – one of the best chocolate bar textures I’ve ever had!


Going to hunker down under my vest under my fleece under a cozy blanket…baby it’s cold outside!

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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

1 jojo December 16, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Beautiful tree!
I love the gift bags idea, I always feel wasteful when I throw away the wrapping paper..
My friends used to laugh at me for peeling the tape away slowly to prevent damages on the wrapping paper, so I could use it again.. :)


2 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) December 16, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Your pictures are looking exquisite! I really, really must buy a working remote; the one I bought does not work at all. :(

Love the bag and re-purpose idea! Very thought and I think they look sophisticated. :)


3 Lynn @ the actor's diet December 16, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Mmmmm I love when just pieces of chocolate deliver.


4 Mom December 16, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Gosh I wonder which one is mine….


5 KathEats December 16, 2011 at 10:07 pm

The one that smells like sugar!


6 Mom December 16, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Well sugar and maybe some chocolate!


7 Blessing @ Working Mom Journal December 16, 2011 at 10:10 pm

You just validated my point around going simple with the Christmas wrapping. We are using simple bags as well it seems. Did you make the gift tags yourself?


8 KathEats December 17, 2011 at 7:24 am

Yes, with a rubber stamp.


9 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 16, 2011 at 10:14 pm

one of the most delicious simple smoothies = yes it looks great

It reminds me of what an orange creamsicle or one of those push-up pops I used to eat as as kid tasted like. creamy and orangey and you’re right the thought of citrus and dairy is a little..whoa…but when done right, it can be wow, not whoa :)

And yes that kaffir lime choc dessert…that’s another wow!


10 Luv What You Do December 16, 2011 at 10:16 pm

I love the resuseable bags from Old Navy. They are super cute and can be used for anything. I am all about green wrapping!

PS Your stamp is so fun!


11 kaila@ healthy helper blog! December 16, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Mmmm that soup looks so thick!!! Just how I like my soup!


12 Lauren @ Fun, Fit and Fabulous! December 16, 2011 at 10:25 pm

I get almost as excited about a reusable bag as I do about a great gift!


13 Dynamics December 16, 2011 at 10:26 pm

I have bags but no tissue paper so I used the over abundance of paper that came in my packages. I so wanted to put my sister’s gift in the bottom of a bag, a LARGE bag and fill it up with peanuts. Since I have to sleep at her house I thought maybeeee next year. Gosh Kath, what did they call those drinks made with oranges at the malls? Maybe you mom knows. Maybe it is a West Coast thing. Anyway, your drink reminded me of those and they were yummy.


14 Erin December 17, 2011 at 7:04 am

Orange Julius? They had those when I lived in GA.


15 KathEats December 17, 2011 at 7:17 am

I remember that place! Not sure I ever tried it though..


16 eliza December 17, 2011 at 7:55 am

yum.. those are good drinks!
homemade version:
orange juice
vanilla extract
and sugar to taste.


17 Dynamics December 17, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Yes!!!! Thank you.


18 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats December 16, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Those tags are so cute! and I love recycling bags from gifts!


19 Hope December 16, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Beautiful tree! I love the idea of using a simple gift bag that can be reused! I am always looking for gift bags and that is perfect. :)


20 happy holidays from sacramento December 16, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Yes, Ginger Elizabeth is simply the best! Beautifully crafted chocolates made in midtown. Enjoy!


21 Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon December 16, 2011 at 10:53 pm

It’s chilly here too!! Two fleece jackets + one fleece blanket. No one come near me with fire–I will melt to pieces!


22 Angel7 December 16, 2011 at 11:05 pm

The Christmas tags on the bags are sooo cute! I have never been to the Hobby Lobby.


23 KathEats December 17, 2011 at 7:23 am

I haven’t either… Got them online!


24 Nancy December 16, 2011 at 11:29 pm

I know with Great Harvest you have no shortage of granola, but I saw this post on another blog and thought of you. It’s a recipe for Cookie Butter Granola. It uses Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter. It’s a Biscoff-like granola! I think I would tweak it a bit to try and lower fat and calories, but it sure seems yummy!

By the way, your tree looks very pretty!


25 KathEats December 17, 2011 at 7:21 am

Oh man… I bet the aroma is amazing! Don’t know if I can put that much if my precious into a recipe… We have no Trader Joes to replenish!


26 Kelly @ Foodie Fiasco December 16, 2011 at 11:51 pm

I love the idea of putting gifts in bags! (Duh.) I’m just not good at wrapping gifts, so I think that’s the route I’m gonna have to go! Thanks!


27 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen December 16, 2011 at 11:56 pm

I made an orange, pineapple milk smoothie earlier this week that tasted like a combo of a creamsicle and a pina colada. Out of this world good!


28 KathEats December 17, 2011 at 7:23 am

I need pineapple now!


29 Lindsay December 17, 2011 at 1:09 am

I love the idea of you and Matt splitting the cash, and then you shopping for your fam and he shops for his. I feel like I STRESS every year on finding stuff for my hubby’s family~they are hard to pick out things for!! I might need to put this in action!


30 Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl December 17, 2011 at 2:00 am

I like that clem-sicle smoothie! Great idea.


31 khushboo December 17, 2011 at 2:17 am

Love your soup consistency: the thicker the better!


32 Grace December 17, 2011 at 2:33 am

At first I thought you were having a super pumpkin-y dough boy smoothie and was thinking ‘breakfast for dinner? Right on Kath.’ …then I saw it was soup. It just looks so thick!

So glad you’re enjoying the chocolate! :)


33 KathEats December 17, 2011 at 7:25 am

It’s wonderful!


34 Rachel December 17, 2011 at 3:33 am

I hate to say this, but isn’t it “yuletide’ rather than ‘yultide’? I don’t know….but either way I love the packaging and the stamping you’ve been doing!


35 KathEats December 17, 2011 at 7:18 am

Well that’s how the stamp came! (I didn’t write it). Maybe it’s a European spelling?


36 Rachel December 18, 2011 at 1:05 pm

It’s got to be!! Everything seems fancier when written the European way!


37 anna December 17, 2011 at 6:31 am

Oh I’m definitely going to try this smoothie today! I’m fighting a cold and only want smooth things…this sounds perfect. Btw…love all the wrapping!


38 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin December 17, 2011 at 7:34 am

I love your greener approach to gift wrapping! I’m always begging my family to use gift bags or newspaper to wrap gifts, but my mom insists on wrapping paper because “it’s more fun to open”. 😛


39 Rebecca @ Naturally Healthy and Gorgeous December 17, 2011 at 7:55 am

That chocolate bar sounds amazing! I always like trying new flavors of chocolate


40 Lauren @ What Lauren Likes December 17, 2011 at 8:18 am

I love the gift bags! How cute! Also-cool smoothie idea! Yum :)


41 Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count December 17, 2011 at 11:06 am

The smoothie sounds delicious and the chocolate bar…oh boy!


42 Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) December 17, 2011 at 11:08 am

Representing Sonoma County! Love the glass! :)


43 Amanda December 17, 2011 at 11:09 am

I love the bag idea! Very practical and fun! And the stamp is really fun too!!


44 Susan H. @ The Food Allergy Chronicles December 17, 2011 at 11:23 am

Love the idea or gift bags…I have a container full of them that I reuse every year…I just restick a sticker on the gift bag or tag to rewrite the receivers name on it. They are great for travelling…on the way home there are bags to put the gifts in! Was just at Michael’s yesterday and bought a stamp to use on Speculaas cookies I will be baking as soon as I finish writing this comment. lol Hope it works! Going back to Michael’s today to use more coupons…love the one you used…didn’t notice it yesterday…will look again…would like to create christmas tags…thanks for the idea!


45 Hannah @ eat, drink and save money December 17, 2011 at 11:23 am

Thanks for the smoothies recipe! I have so many clems and I need to do something with them so they dont go bad.


46 Kelly December 17, 2011 at 12:34 pm

I love a greener approach to wrapping although I hate to say, maybe it’s just me but I already find myself reusing gift bags all the time, even if they are the standard ones that are clearly associated with a holiday. Wrapping paper is hard because it can rip easily, but I generally find the holiday bags hold up pretty well and I just tuck them away for next year.

This was actually making me think it would be fun to take it a step further and do more durable bags (i.e. canvas totes or cute reusable grocery storage bags) since they last even longer and pretty functional.


47 Andrea @FrSeed2Stomach December 17, 2011 at 1:33 pm

I love making drinks in my vita-mix! Lately, I’m all about pouring my hot tea, coffee, and hot cocoa in there for the frothy effect!


48 Andrea @FrSeed2Stomach December 17, 2011 at 1:34 pm

also love your gift wrap idea! FYI – that vita-mix link isn’t working :-(


49 ~Christy @ wonderofallthings December 17, 2011 at 10:11 pm

Simple is best…whether wrapping or leftovers! :)


50 Jess December 18, 2011 at 1:19 am

I know green is good but… wrapping xmas pressies is my favourite thing about xmas! I love it and look forward to it all year. Just me, a movie, presents and wrapping paper for a few hours. My idea of heaven. I also love to alphabetise my DVD’s, so I am ‘multi- faceted abnormal’.


51 Allison December 18, 2011 at 8:50 am

The simplicity is beautiful… Buttt guessing, giving the boxes a little shake, and unwrapping them is half the fun! P.S. That chocolate bar’s name just has me craving a piece of key lime pie!


52 IRISMES December 19, 2011 at 11:00 am

Here we usually have citrus + milk based drinks as snacks, they are my fav! The trick to no clumping is mixing all of the ingredients + ice first and THEN adding the citrus. My favorite is Milk + Passion fruit + oats and the 2nd fav is milk + lemon + oats.


53 susan December 20, 2011 at 8:04 am

Getting a chance to catch up with your posts finally and had to mention – I live very close to Russian River. Nice to see your glass with the name on it.

Happy Holidays!


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