Friday Faves-Holiday Gift Guide-12-4-15

Friday Faves-Holiday Gift Guide

Dun dun duuuunnnnn. Guess what?!? 21 days until Christmas! And if Christmas isn’t your holiday, it’s getting close to a lot of other gift giving holiday times as well.

I actually have the majority of my holiday shopping done! (I know…what a show off). But don’t worry, I still have a few things to make and complete but going out to the crazy stores for last minute things will NOT be happening this year (first time ever???)

So it’s been a while since I’ve done a Friday Faves post and today I wanted to do a special one and share with you some of this years new items (or new to me 🙂 ) that I’ve come across while holiday shopping that I think are really cool and wouldn’t mind receiving a few for myself…*cough cough* BUT FIRST!!! One little piece of exciting news for us!

Tomorrow morning, bright and early, we will be doing a short segment for our local (Madison, WI) ABC affiliate channel, WKOW27. We were contacted by a representative for JoAnn Fabric and Craft stores to do a short (3 minutes or so) segment on some easy holiday crafts. Of course we said yes! I am pretty excited, I’ve never done anything like this so it’s be really interesting! If you’re in the Madison and a early riser we’ll be on at around 6:25 am tomorrow December the 5th! Tune in if you’re around and if not, send good vibes 🙂

Now onto these great gifts! There’s definitely something on here for everyone on your list.

  1. Hair tie BRACELET: I can NOT believe I didn’t think of this!! Who doesn’t hate wearing those pesky things on their wrists? I need at least two on me at all times but I hate how it leaves marks and also hate that I know it looks tacky but there’s no way around it. UNTIL NOW PEOPLE!!!
  2. Blackberry Elderflower Pimms: Maybe this is a British thing (my dad is from England and I grew up visiting family there frequently) but  Pimm’s is delicious in the first place and then combine it with Elderflower (one of my all time favorite flavors) and blackberry and I’m already drooling over it. The *ONLY* thing that could make it better was if it was already chilled in my fridge waiting for me after work today 🙂 While it may be a more summery drink, I’m down for it all year long.
  3. Cooler Tube: I’m not sure why I think this is so cool but how awesome is this?! A cooler just for a couple of cans that you can wear and have both hands free to do activities?!? Ok typing it out it seems like sort of dumb, and unnecessary but I don’t care, I still think it’s cool!
  4. Swell Bottle: First off, they look so sleek and chic and pretty! (& there are a TON of designs to choose from) 2nd and probably most important, they keep your drink HOT for 12 hours (yeah not a typo) or they keep your drink cold for 24 (also not a typo). They’re composed of non-leaching and non-toxic stainless steel, comes in three different sizes, and the company gives back to many charities around the world. Talk about win, win, win!
  5. Typhoon Digital Kitchen Scale: I totally stole this from Oprah’s favorite things list of 2015. I love this because it’s sort of retro looking and cool. It also can be used with or without the bowl and really makes things easy to measure more precisely particularly if you’re cooking recipes from abroad that ask for grams and ingredients measured by weight.
  6. Perfect Skin Spin: I’ve been aware of these face cleansing brush systems for a couple of years now but they were all (that I had seen) too pricey for me to try and not know if I’d like it. But this one on the other hand is extremely reasonably priced and also is multi functional! There are multiple heads to use (rough, gentle, even pumice stone for your feet or rough elbows!) It comes in a variety of cool colors and it’s awesome to have an option to give this type of cleansing a try without breaking the bank!

So there are some of my favorite things this holiday season! Go out and get your shopping done so you can have a *more* stress free holiday! As always, thanks for stopping by and checking out our blog!


*Please know that we have not been compensated for featuring any of these items. There are no affiliate links contained in this post. We simply wanted to share some great products and are not benefiting from this post or earning income in anyway. Enjoy! 🙂 


Gold Painted String Lights

Gold Painted String Lights

1So remember that time I told you I had become obsessed with gold spray paint? Well….. I wasn’t kidding.

It pretty much all started because of the wedding. Our colors were green and gold and there were some items (like these) that I liked but wanted to have them be gold.

Enter liquid gold.

Then things got pretty serious and I was spray painting anything I could get my hands on. Napkin rings, rocks, vases,string lights…you name it!

I think I just saw an idea like this on Pinterest and decided I wanted to have some of the lights gold for my wedding. My mom found these knock off “cafe” lights on clearance the day after Christmas and snatched them up for me. I only did three strings of them but they turned out great for the wedding and I am also planning and looking forward to using these around the holidays! I’m a traditional green and gold type of girl so these will look amaze-balls around the house for Christmas!2All you need is: 

  • Spray Paint (this is my favorite gold)
  • Painters tape (or any tape I guess)
  • String lights
  • an open area to spray paint and cardboard boxes or something like this to paint in/over.
  • This amazing tool (ok. you don’t NEED this but it will make it 100% easier and you get a really even coat)

Then you just:

  • Tape up the areas you DON’T want paint on . My bulbs unscrewed so I just took them all off and put a tiny piece of tape over the LED light and also taped the ends as shown below.


  • Make sure you’re in well ventilated area and following these rules.

{Spray Paint Tips}

  • Then just go to town! I did two full coats and then some touchups on some weird spots. It’s a little hard to not have fingerprints when you do the whole thing at once as you have to pick  it up and move it and twist it and turn it. But the final 3rd spray down for just those spots will leave you with perfectly even paint.

So there you go! Beautiful makeover to make something cheap look fancy and sophisticated. Someone please remember to remind me to take a picture of these around my house at Christmas 🙂

Thank you so much for checking in! Hope you all have fabulous weekends.



Pesto Poppers

Pesto Poppers



Christmas is NEXT WEEK?!? WHAT? I know crazy.

So I know I’ve already told you that I’m all done shopping and wrapping gifts but for some reason this year I don’t feel super ‘Christmas-y’. I mean it’s five freaking days away! I’m hoping once I have one of my many family Christmas gatherings this weekend, I’ll feel more festive 🙂

The holidays are full of yummy food, get-togethers with friends, drinks, parties. And if you’re anything like me, your fiance will spring a commitment on you the hour before and “oh-you’re supposed to make something and bring it”……

I mean that didn’t happen or anything….

Well if you find yourself in the same situation or you have unexpected guests this holiday season (or really any time of the year!) this super fast and delicious appetizer will be your saving grace.

Not only are they great- but they seem like they’d take forever yet can be whipped up in about 10 minutes!

Behold the Pesto Popper


Pesto Poppers


  • Puff Pastry Dough
  • Mozzarella Cheese (I think the fresh would be best)
  • Pre-made pesto
  • Toothpicks


Preheat oven to 400F.

Follow puff Pastry directions to thaw accordingly. Using a lightly floured surface and a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the puff pastry. Then using a cookie or biscuit cutter(*I used a drinking glass since i didn’t have a round cutter) cut out circles. You can keep rolling out the dough to get as many circles as you can.

In the center of each place a dollop of pesto and a chunk of cheese.

Pull all sides together and secure with two toothpicks per popper (sort of making a ‘X’). Place on a baking sheet and bake 15-20 minutes, or beautifully brown.

Remove from the oven and take out the toothpicks. Serve warm or room temp, although I’m partial to warm since the cheese is still gooey 🙂


There you have it! See? So easy and good. And everyone will ask you how to made these. I think the puff pastry makes them ‘elegant’. You could also do so many flavor combinations for these. I’m really digging the idea of a tapenade or roasted red pepper version.

If you guys make these and try different flavors- PLEASE come back and tell me how they turned out 🙂

Hope you all enjoy this, enjoy this weekend, and if you’re traveling for the holidays in the coming days, travel safe and I hope everything goes as planned.



Being Thankful

Being Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving! (a day late)

I hope that you all had a wonderful day yesterday and spent it with those that you love. I spent mine doing some of my favorite things. Cooking, drinking, laughing, being with family. I was unfortunately only with some of my loved ones yesterday, but it was still great.

Jake was at his parents, which does suck we don’t spend it together, but he loves hunting and if I were to go with him, he’d be hunting most of the time anyway! So we usually spend it apart. Though next year getting married and all, that may have to change 🙂

And my dad and stepmom are in Oregon celebrating their wedding anniversary. I miss them, but I’ll be with them for Christmas!

I wanted to share a few of the things that I’m thankful for in my life. I hear so many cynical comments these days about how Thanksgiving is the celebration of “Americans” coming and kicking Native Americans off their land and so on and so forth. To me, that’s never was Thanksgiving was about. It’s about an “excuse” to be with family and friends and a nice intro into the Christmas season reminding us all to stop and take a look around and be thankful for all that we have. Each and every one of us have something in our lives to be thankful for, and most likely none are the same. I see Thanksgiving drifting further and further away from that. Don’t get me started on Black “Friday” shopping. For years I worked in retail and was forced to give up time with my family to go in and deal with crazed mean people pummeling each other for candles and soaps.

I hated it if you couldn’t tell.

But those times of my life are over, and I appreciate every single sacrifice that retail workers make during this holiday season. And ask you to stop and think twice before you feel the need to shop instead of be with family and friends, you know, actually connecting.

So to inspire you to find your own- here are a few things I’m incredibly thankful for in my life.

My wonderful family


A house full of a beautiful thanksgiving table setting, family, puppies, and love!


The best sister a girl could ask for ❤

My amazing Fiancé


Jake and I have been together for over 7 years now! I’m lucky and thankful we found each other and have gone through everything we’ve gone through. I get to marry him next year and couldn’t be happier!

Beaver Island & Sunsets

So proud of this shot I took!

Seriously- I witnessed something this beautiful with my own two eyes?! I love nature and sunsets in general and there is nowhere on earth that makes my heart as happy to see them, than on Beaver Island, MI. If you’ve followed by blog for a while you know this is our family vacation spot. Honestly the most beautiful place on earth.

And finally, YOU.

Yes you. A reader of my blog. I started this as a fun hobby a more than 3  years ago and it’s grown into such a big part of my life. I live for it and breath for it and it makes my so happy to work on it and interact with all of you. But without you, it would just be a diary of food 🙂 So thank you, to each and every one of you, thank you for reading my posts and making my food and reaching out and connecting with me. I’m thankful for YOU!

Now- get off your computer and go hang out with good food, good wine, and great friends!