Fridays are for Favorites

fridays are for favorites

Today’s post is dedicated to my most favorite thing that happened this week – I won the Handmade Winter e-book giveaway from the Creative Mamas Collective through Maker Mama!

Photo from Creative Mamas Collective

Photo from Creative Mamas Collective

This e-book is 92 pages of awesome. There are ideas for books for all ages, drink and food recipes, party ideas and crafting tutorials. Not only that, but the book also includes a few prompts for starting meaningful traditions with your family during the holiday season and continuing through the year.

So, for books….

Photo from Harper Collins Childrens

Photo from Harper Collins Childrens

They not only offer ideas for books like Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, that we all know and love. But they also offer book ideas for some books that I have never heard of before – like Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson – that look incredibly awesome and I can’t wait to get for my little one. When you click on the Harper Collins link or the photo above, you can choose to buy from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and you can also click on the Indie Bound link that allows you to search for indie bookstores in your area. Score!

Photo from Rajovilla

Photo from Rajovilla

There are also recipes for making wonderfully delicious authentic Warm Masala Chai like the drink pictured above from Rajovilla. I remember when I had my first chai, and I immediately fell in love with the spice and how warm it made me feel. It’s perfect for after dinner when you want something warm to drink but you’re not about staying up all night. It never occurred to me that I could make my own chai and now I’m on the hunt for of all of the ingredients – and the strainer!

There are several other dessert recipes, including Gingerbread Crinkle Snowflake Cookies from Simple as That and Gingerbread Ice Cream from Things for Boys. Wait, hold the phone. Gingerbread Ice Cream?! I think I might be in love.

Photo from My Life at Playtime

Photo from My Life at Playtime

Have you ever heard of a Favorite Things Party? I had not until I saw the idea from Deborah at My Life at Playtime in the e-book. There is a set dollar limit (she uses $10 but that’s really up to you) per item, and each person brings three of their favorite items. Everyone writes their names on three pieces of scrap paper and puts them in the hat. You then pick names and each person passes out one gift to the person who picked their name. You can make each party themed, too. There is more information in the book and you can read about Deborah’s experience by clicking on the link or photo above.

You can learn how to make awesome crafts, like leather and chain jewelry from Small and Friendly, chalkboard imagination blocks from Classic Play and Polymer Clay Vases and Placeholders from Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! too! And for you crafty ladies you know your way around a sewing machine, there are PLENTY of sewing tutorials, too!

Finding new tutorials and ideas are amazing. But more than that, I love getting these collaborative books because I find bloggers and makers that I have never seen anything from before, or maybe someone that I have come across but never actually saw their stuff. It also reminds me of bloggers that I have followed for a while and sparks something new.

I learned about the Creative Mamas Collective during my usual stalking of Maker Mama. If I counted correctly, there are 21 collaborators in this book, and over 50 DIY ideas. The book is $15 and it’s my understanding that you get it immediately after your purchase. Could be the perfect gift for a crafty someone in your life, or you could use the ideas for last-minute handmade gifts and party ideas! Join the Creative Mamas Collective by following them on Pinterest and following and posting #creativemamas on Facebook and Instagram.

What are your favorite things that happened this week? Any new finds you want to share? Post in the comments and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google+ with the hashtag #fridayfavorites. Find more of my favorite inspiration on Pinterest! Now, back to gift making and wrapping!

This week at the weekly treat

weekly treat

When I was pregnant, I went insane for Almond Joy and Mounds. It was crazy. I literally bought the Halloween bag of Almond Joy and kept them for myself. Luckily it was Halloween and I was super pregnant, so nobody dared question me. Then, when all the Halloween candy went on sale, I was in an Almond Joy/ Mounds wonderland.

When we went to the grocery store yesterday, I felt inclined to buy Mounds since I was starting my “bangin’ body challenge” today (more about that later), and I wanted to indulge one last time. While I was enjoying my moment of bliss, I was thinking of treats I could make with coconut. And here is what I found….

Image belongs to The Midnight Baker

Image belongs to The Midnight Baker

Coconut Banana Popsicles from The Midnight Baker

Image belongs to Sunflower Supper Club

Image belongs to Sunflower Supper Club

Homemade Coconut Ice Cream from Sunflower Supper Club

Image belongs to cooking ala mel

Image belongs to cooking ala mel

DIY Coconut Milk and Flour from cooking ala mel

Image belongs to The Daring Gourmet

Image belongs to The Daring Gourmet

Coconut Sunflower Seed Cookies from The Daring Gourmet

Image belongs to The Edible Earth

Image belongs to The Edible Earth

Coconut, Cranberry and Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies from The Edible Earth

This is a clean eating blog so all of her recipes are clean

I love finding all of these things you can make with one main ingredient. In one post, I got recipes for cookies and coconut milk, and more than that, I found a new clean eating blog. This is my favorite part of The Weekly Treat, not just finding new recipes, but finding new blogs and people.

If you love baking or are just getting into it, check out our Weekly Treat group for some recipe inspiration. Share your lemon and blueberry treats in the comments or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #lemonblueberry You can find more of my lemon blueberry inspiration on Pinterest!

This week at the weekly treat

weekly treat

Anyone who knows me knows my insane love for avocado. I’ve gone through the avocado on toast for every meal phase at various points of my life, and when times have gotten rough, I’ve been known to eat avocado with a fork and some black pepper. That being said, I still have yet to use it in any of my baking recipes. Silly, I know.

Here are some amazing looking treat recipes that use the beloved avocado:

Avocado-Cupcakes-4-willcookforsmiles.com_

Image belongs to Will Cook for Smiles

Avocado Cupcakes from Will Cook for Smiles – This is actually the picture that inspired this week’s treat. I love just about anything that comes in the form of a cupcake, and I love avocado more than cupcakes. So to me, this is the perfect pairing. I think the only problem I’ll have is the ability to keep an avocado long enough to bake with it.

Image belongs with A Dash of Compassion

Image belongs with A Dash of Compassion

Gluten-free chocolate avocado cupcakes from A Dash of Compassion – I love myself a good vegan recipe. But sometimes, there are a bunch of ingredients that I’m starting to believe don’t actually exist, and it gets both exhausting and obnoxious. Luckily, this recipe has none of that. Now, I’m not a big fan of gluten free flour, so I’ll stick to my whole wheat flour for this recipe. But if you do enjoy the gluten free way of life, you can definitely follow the recipe for the flour at the bottom.

avocadoicecream_zps79aa087e

Image belongs to Some the Wiser

Avocado Ice Cream from Some the Wiser – When I was pregnant last year, I was ADDICTED to frozen yogurt. It was insane. Whenever we passed by somewhere that had frozen yogurt – we had to stop. And when frozen yogurt wasn’t around, I happily settled for ice cream. My obsession got so deep that I bought an ice cream maker. Only thing is, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work. So, once I get this whole frozen yogurt/ ice cream making thing under my belt, I’m making this. And then gaining a subsequent 20 lbs.

DSC_0009-1-1

Image belongs to the lone home ranger

homemade avocado nutella from the lone home ranger – I love chocolate so much, I would put it on everything if I could. Now, it can’t be that stinky ol milk chocolate, I will have none of that. Only dark chocolate for me. I can’t wait to make this spread and put it on my toast in the morning. Maybe I could use this spread and then top it with even more avocado? Hmm….

If you want to add to our weekly treat group, find us on Facebook. Share your favorite avocado treat recipe in the comments or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #avocadotreats. You can find more of my avocado inspiration on Pinterest.

Now go get some avocados! STAT!

This Week at The Weekly Treat

weekly treat

When we had our Fathers Day BBQ over here a couple weeks ago, we wanted a light treat that somehow incorporated my favorite fruit, strawberries. Since it was a little (and by a little, I mean a lot) crazy over here, we decided on strawberry shortcakes and cheated by getting the ready-made shortcakes. Yes, I admit it. I didn’t bake anything for the BBQ. But there was  a lot going on, dang it!

This got me thinking about all the yummy strawberry shortcake possibilities there could be, which inspired the theme for this week’s weekly treat: Strawberry Shortcakes!

Image belongs to this heart of mine

Image belongs to this heart of mine

Strawberry Shortcake From Scratch by this heart of mine – I’m not sure what is more delightful in this post, the actual treat itself or the amazing photography. I never thought that capturing food on film would be that hard, but after I started doing it, I realized that it is truly hard to photograph food and make it look warm and inviting, and Amy Christie – who runs this blog – certainly does that. She’s also a DIYer and a mom, so I love her already.

Image belongs to Lemon Tree Dwellings

Image belongs to Lemon Tree Dwellings

Strawberry Shortcake Pops from Lemon Tree Dwelling – I am probably the last person on the planet who has yet to make a cake pop, but alas, it is the sad truth. These would be fun to take to any party, or a good way to limit myself to just one small treat per day! Unlikely that that will actually happen, but a girl can dream.

Image belongs to Green Owl Crafts

Image belongs to Green Owl Crafts

Homemade Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream from green owl crafts – Two of my favorite things…strawberry shortcake and ice cream! This recipe looks relatively easy and a lot of fun. And perfect for Summer! Man, I wish I would have seen this before the BBQ but now I have an idea for 4th of July (if we’re not in the hospital, Sam’s nephew is due that day)!

Image belongs to Making Thyme for Health

Image belongs to Making Thyme for Health

Vegan Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes from Making Thyme for Health – Whenever I see a recipe for something vegan, the first thing I think is “oh great, another recipe with a bunch of weird ingredients that I will never find,” but not this time. The ingredients are simple, and all things I have heard of before. And Sarah, who runs this blog, is from Northern California and has a guide for restaurants around her area.

Image belongs to The Gracious Pantry

Image belongs to The Gracious Pantry

Clean Eating Strawberry Shortcake from The Gracious Pantry – And finally, if you are trying your hardest to stay on your clean eating diet but freaking love treats more than anything, I completely understand and agree. So here’s a recipe that includes a clean eating whipped cream and clean eating doughnut batter. Wait a minute, there’s clean eating doughnut batter? Score! I’ve never been a fan of making “diet-friendly” alternatives for good food, because they usually include a bunch of ingredients that aren’t a whole lot better than the original ingredients, but since the clean diet focuses on eating whole, good food, I don’t hesitate as much.

If you want to join the weekly treat group, visit us on Facebook. You can also share your strawberry shortcake recipes or attempts with us by sharing your pictures and using the hashtag #theweeklytreat on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Check out more of my strawberry shortcake inspiration on Pinterest.