Posted Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Easy Gingerbread Cookie "Recipe" - Great for the holidays

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:

Confetti Globe Ornament – $8.00

C. Wonder Ornament

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.


Mercury Glass Votive – $14.00

Hostess Gift From C. Wonder

This votive will make a fabulous tabletop statement during this holiday season.


Snowflake Ornament – $12.00

Snowflake Ornament Hostess Gift - C. Wonder

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.


Snowflake Cheese Board and Spreader – $38.00

Snowflake Cheese Board Hostess Gift

This hostess gift would be wonderful for all kinds of holiday entertaining. And you gotta love the matching cheese spreader!


Be Merry! Cheese Board – $38.00

Holiday Hostess Gift Idea by C. Wonder

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:

Posted Monday, November 18, 2013


BloomThat is the best florist is San Francisco

BloomThat Logo

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.

BloomThat Flower Bouquet

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.

Rustic Flowers By BloomThat

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.

Rustic Flowers

Currently, BloomThat is only serving San Francisco, but hopefully they will inspire others to do the same thing in other cities.

You can check out the BloomThat website by clicking here. They usually post promo codes on their Facebook page so make sure the “Like” them by clicking here.

BloomThat San Francisco

photo credit:

Posted Sunday, November 17, 2013

Best Crunchy Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Cookies of all time... and may be the best cookie dough of all times too!

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



  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl beat butter and crunchy peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium until the ingredients are combined.
  3. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat until combined.
  4. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  5. Beat in the flour adding a little at a time until all the flour has been added.
  6. Mix in the rolled oats by hand until everything is combined.
  7. 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).
  8. Bake for about 10 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!

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

Sprinkles, Sharpies, and a Mason Jar... perfect for birthday parties, wrapping stations, and everyday celebrations.

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:

Posted Monday, October 14, 2013

Wedding Advise Table - Great alternative to traditional guest book

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.

Wedding guests write advice for you to open on each milestone wedding anniversary - photo credit Marissa Winchester of Sweet Poppy Studios

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.

Wedding advise table. Guest write advice for you to read on each of your milestone wedding anniversaries. Photo Credit: Marissa Winchester

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.

Alternative to wedding guest book... Wedding Advice Table from Holiday Helpings. Photo credit: Marissa Winchester

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.

Photo by Marissa Winchester featured on Holiday Helpings

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.

Flowers for a rustic wedding table. Photo credit: Marissa Winchester

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

Great gift for coworker

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.

Inexpensive birthday gift for coworker

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.

Posted Thursday, August 8, 2013

Outdoor Wedding Ideas

If you are planning an outdoor wedding you should consider setting up a star gazing area for your guests. It is really easy to do and your guests will appreciate the opportunity to get off their feet and relax under the stars.

Outdoor Wedding Inspiration

Pick a good star gazing area without too many trees blocking the view. Then create the ultimate rustic star gazing atmosphere by laying out quilts and pillows, hanging bunting, adding an accent table, and a sign.

Country Wedding

You probably won’t get a chance to tell all your guests that there is a special star gazing area so make sure to have a sign. If guests are wandering around and see the sign they will be more inclined to walk over and check it out.

Quilts for Outdoor wedding

Make sure to provide enough quilts for guests to use in case they get cold. Also guests can use the extra quilt to expand the star gazing area if they want. You can fill a trunk with the extra blankets and add a little bunting banner to draw more attention to the trunk.

Outdoor Wedding

Add a small table so guests will have somewhere to set their drinks. You can decorate the table with items that fit into your rustic outdoor wedding theme like candles and flowers. These little accents will make your guests feel cozy as they enjoy the night sky.

Star Gazing Outdoor Wedding

Give your guests a little help by printing out constellation maps. Your guests will feel like  astronomers searching the night sky for their favorite constellation.

Country WeddingI want to thank Marissa Winchester so much for making my idea a reality. She is an amazing photographer and it is always a wonderful experience working with her.

photo credit: Marissa Winchester of Sweet Poppy Studios 

Posted Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Outdoor Wedding Idea

I want to thank Marissa Winchester of Sweet Poppy Studios so much for doing another shoot for Holiday Helpings. I am so excited to share more photos with you in an upcoming post but for now I just wanted to share a few.

Cowboy Boots Photography

You may remember Marissa’s amazing work from the Letter to the Troops Table and 4th of July Chili Bar posts. She is the ultimate all-star and a genius behind the lens. Stay tuned for more photos!

Rustic Outdoor Wedding

photo credit: Marissa Winchester

Posted Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Wedding Favor Idea - Rustic

When deciding what to do as a wedding favor think about what your guests will like and actually use. There is no point wasting money on little trinkets that your guests will throw away as soon as they get back to their hotel.  Which is why I love this wedding favor idea from Black Eiffel.

Provide a fresh selection of farmer’s market items for your guests as a wedding favor. Most likely your wedding guests will have burned some serious calories on the dance floor and will be grateful to have their pick of healthy snacks to take back to their hotel room. Not to mention, the extra tote bag may come in handy for guests who’ve collected extra items on their trip that won’t fit into their suitcase.

You can offer your guests a selection of fresh breads, cheese, and berries. If most of your guests are local you can also offer some flowers and herbs for them to pick from. Depending on your budget you can make your own tote bags or have some custom made with your wedding logo or initials.

photo credit: black eiffel




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