Posted Monday, November 25, 2013
It takes a lot for a new dish to be added to our Thanksgiving menu… especially one that is Paleo. Initially I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of having something healthy take up space on our Thanksgiving table but as soon as I tried these Roasted Squash Bites I decided I would make an exception. Seriously, this is the most delicious healthy thing I have ever had!!! My mom found the recipe for these Roasted Squash Bites in the Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook by Sarah Fragoso and I’ve shared the recipe with my notes below.
Oh, and if being healthy and delicious wasn’t enough… this dish will also make your house smell like the holidays with all that cinnamon! It is like the triple threat of Thanksgiving side dishes.
- 3 tablespoons ghee (or real butter*)
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 6 cups peeled, cubed butternut squash
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Melt the ghee and in a small bowl whisk together the ghee, cinnamon, and sea salt.
- Pour the seasoned mixture over the cubed squash and toss until all the pieces have been covered.
- Spread the cubed squash into a large glass baking dish and bake for 45 minutes to an hour.
* We sometimes use real butter for this recipe and will use real butter for Thanksgiving, but by using real butter it is not considered Paleo.
photo credit: everyday paleo family cookbook
Posted Friday, November 22, 2013
It has never been so easy to make a difference. All you have to do is click. That is it! Help spread the word by sharing with your social network. Remember the more likes and followers, the more we can donate!
About the Cause: Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) serves veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound, co-incident to their military service on or after September 11, 2001 and their families. The Wounded Warrior Project’s vision is to “foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history.” For more information about the cause please visit their website by clicking here.
*Holiday Helpings will donate up to $250.
Posted Thursday, November 21, 2013
There is something I like to refer to as the circle-of-gifting. And no, I am not referring to re-gifting so get your mind out of the dirty gifting gutter. The circle-of-gifting is when you receive a gift yourself, fall in love with it, and then end up buying the exact same gift to give to someone else.
The One Line A Day Journal is a great example of the circle-of-gifting. Two years ago, my roommate in college, Maddie, gave me the One Line A Day Journal for my birthday. She thought I would like to keep a journal but knew that a traditional journal would be a bit daunting for me and I would likely stop after a week or two. She knows me well : )
The One Line A Day Journal was the perfect gift for me. Only being “asked” to write one line a day makes it really easy to stay up to date with the journal. I keep it next to my bed and write in it as part of my bedtime routine.
The One Line A Day Journal has enough space for five years. During my first year with the journal I skipped a few weeks here and there but in general did a pretty good job of filling it out. Now that I am on the second year, I am so grateful for each of my past entries and have made an effort not to skip days. Seeing where I was or what I was doing exactly a year ago is a really neat comparison. I’ve started to even notice some patterns just in these two years and a couple funny coincidences. For instance, I wrote an entry and then read what I had done the year before on that day… I had dinner with the same friend at the same restaurant!
I have been so taken by the journal and ended up giving it as a gift to my dear friend Kate for her birthday this year. She has heard me talk about it and was so excited to have her very own One Line A Day Journal. The circle-of-gifting at its best : )
The One Line A Day Journal would make a great holiday gift for a new college student so they can remember the “glory days” or perhaps to a new mom so they can quickly jot down all the joys that come with parenting. But really, the One Line A Day Journal would make a great gift for just about anyone.
You can find the One Line A Day Journal on Amazon, Anthropologie, or at Barnes & Noble by clicking here.
photo credit: knittymummy.blogspot.com
Posted Wednesday, November 20, 2013
I posted this photo on Instagram and a couple people asked for the recipe. I actually shared a post about these cookies three years ago but it is obviously time to feature the “recipe” again.
The truth is these delicious melt-in-your-mouth Gingerbread Cookies come from a mix. GASP! I know. I should be ashamed to admit this but I’m not because they are just that good!
I use the Betty Crocker Gingerbread Cookie Mix and add a few “homemade” touches. Prepare the dough following the instructions on the package and set aside. In a separate bowl, pour about 1/3 cup granulated sugar. Roll the dough into 1/4 inch balls and roll them around in the sugar bowl until they are all evenly covered. Place the cookies on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Then, like you would with peanut butter cookies, use the back of a fork and press an “X” into the dough. Bake as directed. It is that easy!
I promise after you try making these gingerbread cookies you will understand why I have been cheating : )
Posted Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Looking for hostess gifts for all the upcoming holiday parties? Check out C. Wonder! C. Wonder has a great selection of chic holiday hostess gifts. Plus, C. Wonder has adorable packaging so you won’t even have to worry about gift wrapping. Here are a few holiday hostess gift ideas from C. Wonder:
This festive and party ready ornament comes in five different colors. You could gift just one or pair it with another colorful Confetti Globe Ornament making it the perfect pair.
This votive will make a fabulous tabletop statement during this holiday season.
This timeless classic ornament will bring elegance and Christmas cheer to any tree this year. This ornament would also make a great gift topper! You could even pair this with the Mercury Glass Votive and gift the two together.
This hostess gift would be wonderful for all kinds of holiday entertaining. And you gotta love the matching cheese spreader!
This is just…oh so cute! This cheese board would make a great gift for any gourmet hostess.
Did I mention C.Wonder has really cute wrapping?! If you know you will need a few holiday hostess gifts this year stock up now so you won’t have to do a last minute dive-and-catch on the way to the party.
photo credit: cwonder.com
Posted Monday, November 18, 2013
If you have ever ordered flowers online (which I am sure you all have) you know what a pain in the butt it is. There are too many options, they cost a ton, and when you finally make a decision they hit you with high delivery fees and can’t deliver them on time. With BloomThat you don’t have to deal with any of that!
BloomThat makes sending flowers simple and fast. They works with local florists to put together simple and beautiful flower arrangements that are delivered in under 90-minutes.
All of their bouquets are designed around what flowers are fresh and in-season. Each bouquet is wrapped in recycled burlap giving them a wonderful rustic, fresh-out-of-the-garden look.
They only have a few options which makes the decision process a lot easier! Their flowers start at $45 and delivery is free. They will even text you to update you when your flowers are en-route.
I have used BloomThat a couple times and have been very impressed. My friends usually send a thank you text and photo immediately after they are delivered. The photos of the flowers look exactly like the ones online and sometimes even better!
BloomThat is a great option for last minute birthday flowers or just because flowers. Not to mention, BloomThat could be a real lifesaver for guys who might forget to order flowers for an anniversary… in less than 90-minutes you can go from zero to hero! I bet BloomThat will be very popular on Valentines Day this year.
Currently, BloomThat is only serving San Francisco, but hopefully they will inspire others to do the same thing in other cities.
photo credit: bloomthat.com
Posted Sunday, November 17, 2013
I made these Crunchy Peanut Butter Oatmeal cookies for the Third Annual Fall Food Cook-Off I host every year and they were a huge hit. These cookies are so soft and have the perfect amount of texture and crunch. Just a little heads up… this may be some of the best cookie dough of all times!!! I would say this ranks in the top three best cookie doughs I have ever had. You’ve been warned so don’t blame me if you eat too much and get a tummy ache like I did. : )
- 3/4 cup salted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
- 1 cup grandulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packaged brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cup rolled oats
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large bowl beat butter and crunchy peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium until the ingredients are combined.
- Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat until combined.
- Beat in eggs and vanilla.
- Beat in the flour adding a little at a time until all the flour has been added.
- Mix in the rolled oats by hand until everything is combined.
- Make small balls of the cookie dough and place then about 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper (if you don’t have parchment paper you can place the dough directly on the cookie sheet).
- Bake for about 10 minutes.
ps. This is an Instagram photo I took of the cookies and used a filter… so don’t worry if your cookies don’t look the same color : )
Posted Tuesday, November 12, 2013
If you follow Holiday Helpings on Pinterest or know me personally, you know how much I love Sprinkles, Sharpies, and Mason Jars! So you can imagine how hard it was for me to contain my giddy excitement when I saw my three favorite things functionally used together.
After the initial giddiness surpassed I couldn’t help but think to myself… how come I didn’t think of that?! Seriously! I have plentiful supplies of all three items at my house yet never saw them working together in such harmony until now.
This is a great use of supplies and can be incorporated into a variety of settings. I know for one, I’ll be sprucing up my wrapping station by adding sprinkles to my sharpie mason jar. You could also do this at your office… that is, if you trust yourself not to knock it over. This also works for birthday parties, drink stations where you have guests label their cups, etc.
You can also make these jars more seasonal by using specific holiday colored sprinkles and corresponding sharpies. Imagine how cute this would be at a holiday cookie exchange!
photo credit: Pinterest.com
Posted Monday, October 14, 2013
Have guests write a wish or advice as an alternative to the traditional guest book at your wedding. Set up boxes marked with the year of five milestone anniversaries. Guests can decide which anniversary they want their note to be read by placing it in one of the five marked boxes.
This wedding advice table is not only fun for your guests but also fun for you and your spouse. You will be able to open up these notes on each of your milestone anniversaries and remember how special your wedding day was.
The concept is rather simple and will be easy to execute for any style wedding. For this rustic wedding, tins and wood boxes were used to serve as the milestone anniversary boxes. Other decorative elements like the flowers, succulents, and the large initial were added to the table to give it some texture and dimension.
Who needs a table when you have hay? For this shoot hay was substituted as a table and the handmade burlap sign added an even more rustic feel to the overall look of the wedding advice table.
You and your spouse can participate too! After the wedding write notes to eachother for each milestone. That way when you open these boxes on your anniversary you will have an extra surprise from your spouse.
These lovely photos were taken by none other than miss Marissa Winchester of Sweet Poppy Studios. She is a genius behind the camera and has been a featured photographer on Holiday Helpings many times now. And having seen the response on Pinterest to her work I know that you all are as much of a fan as I am. So a huge thank you to Marissa for putting together another wonderful shoot for Holiday Helpings. Thank you!!!
photo credit: Marissa Winchester, Sweet Poppy Studios
Posted Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Finding the perfect little token gift for a coworker’s birthday isn’t always easy. You don’t want to spend too much on it but you do want them to feel special on their day.
These Happy Birthday Party Crackers by Souvenir Suitcase are exactly what you’ve been looking for! They are reasonably priced at $6 each and will kickoff the birthday celebration with a bang. Place one of these colorful Birthday Party Crackers on your coworker’s desk and it’s instantly decorated for birthday fun! The Birthday Party Cracker contains: a clown nose; bubble; whistle; paper crown; and a lucky number.
The Happy Birthday Party Cracker is already wrapped and you don’t have to worry about a card since you can write on the back of the tag. If you have a lot of coworkers you can stock up on these Happy Birthday Party Crackers and other party crackers so you are always ready to help your coworkers celebrate their special day. Not to mention, you will probably get a reputation for giving the most uniquely fun birthday gifts!
To see all the Party Crackers available by Souvenir Suitcase click here.