Lots {and lots!} of Gifts for Under $20

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that you had a great day yesterday with your friends and family!
Now that it’s officially after Thanksgiving, Christmas planning and festivities can proceed unhindered. I’m a bit of a traditionalist and I can’t believe it when people put up decorations the day after Halloween. But now, Christmas planning has my complete blessing! 😉
To help in any gift buying you may have in your future, I compiled a bunch of fun and cute gifts for under $20. Hope you enjoy my choices!

For the Journal Lover

journal gifts

1// Collected Quotations  2// Metallic Shadows 3// Global Girl 

For the Nail Polish Gal

nail polish gifts

1// e.l.f. Nail Cube 2// Nail Art Expressions 3// F21 Nail Polish 

For the Coffee {or Tea} Lover

mug gifts

1// Swirled Symmetry 2// Threshold Beaded (set of 4)  3// Dipped (set of 4)

For the Scarf Collector

Scarf gifts

1// Tile Infinity  2//Burgundy & Ivory Infinity 3// All Eyes on Me 

For the Tech Whiz

tech gifts

1//Fly Through Work Tablet Case 2// Portable Phone Charger 3// Cam I Call You? Case

For the Outdoorsy Type

outdoorsy gifts

1// Marled Watch Cap 2//Sweaty Bands Fitness Headwrap 3// Bamboo Glass Waterbottle

For the Blingy Girl

jewelry gifts

1// Geo on the Go 2// Rings of Radiance 3// Iridescent Midi Set

For the Pajama Lover

Pajama gifts

1// Fox Pajama Set 2// Sleep Chemise 3// Geo-Tribal Satin Pants





{More} Cinnamon Rolls

My Daughter and I- More Cinnamon Rolls

If my memory serves me, this is our third cinnamon roll recipe. We posted our old favorite, homemade cinnamon rolls and then we shared our recipe for yummy, super quick, shortcut rolls. And now, another delicious cinnamon roll recipe coming your way!

Clearly, we love homemade cinnamon rolls around here- we’re always on the hunt for the perfect recipe!

My Daughter and I- More Cinnamon Rolls 1


{More} Cinnamon Rolls

1 1/4 cup milk (heated approximately 1 minute in microwave)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature and beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
5 cups bread flour
3 teaspoons instant active dry yeast

Cinnamon Filling (see recipe below)
1/2 cup butter, melted or softened
1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
4 to 5 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 to 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Soften the butter; set aside. In a bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon; stir in chopped nuts (optional). NOTE: I like to sift the brown sugar and cinnamon together to remove any lumps.

Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe below)
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Small shake of cinnamon, more or less to taste

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and cinnamon and mix until creamy. Frost the still warm cinnamon rolls or refrigerate until you’re ready to use. If you make ahead and refrigerate the frosting, allow it to come to room temperature for easier spreading.

Directions: I made my dough in my stand mixer. It made it very simple. No kneading necessary. In a large bowl or in the bowl of a 5-quart stand mixer, combine all the ingredients in the order given except the Cinnamon Filling and the Butter Frosting. Using the paddle attachment, mix everything together until a soft dough starts to form.

Check the dough. It should form a nice elastic ball. If you think the dough is too moist, add additional flour (a tablespoon at a time). The same is true if the dough is looking dry and gnarly. Add warm water (a tablespoon at a time). If you can’t judge your dough by looking, stick your finger in and feel the dough. It should be slightly tacky to the touch.

Change to your dough hook and knead in the mixer for 8 to 10 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until double in size, about 1 hour. I put the bowl into my oven that I have slightly heated and then turned off.

Butter a jelly roll pan; set aside or a large cookie sheet with edges. I prefer the larger size to allow the cinnamon rolls to expand.

After dough has risen, using your rolling pin, roll and stretch the dough into approximately a 15 x 24-inch rectangle.

Brush the 1/2 cup softened butter (listed below in the Cinnamon Filling) over the top of the dough with a rubber spatula or a pastry brush. Sprinkle Cinnamon Filling over the butter on the prepared dough. Starting with long edge, roll up dough; pinch seams to seal. NOTE: Rolling the log too tightly will result in cinnamon rolls whose centers pop up above the rest of them as they bake.

With a knife, lightly mark roll into 1 1/2-inch section. Use a sharp knife (I like to use a serrated knife and saw very gently). Place cut side up in prepared baking pan, flattening them only slightly. The unbaked cinnamon rolls should not touch each other before rising and baking. Do not pack the unbaked cinnamon rolls together.

Cover and let rise in a warm place for approximately 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size (after rising, rolls should be touching each other and the sides of the pan).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake approximately 20 to 25 minutes in a regular oven until they are a light golden brown. A good check is to use an instant digital thermometer to test your bread. The temperature should be between 190 and 200 degrees.

Frost while still warm with the cream cheese frosting listed above.


Crockpot Beef Stew

My Daughter and I- Crockpot Beef Stew

Everyone is talking about comfort food, snow and seriously, Christmas decorations! While it may be like the arctic in 50% of the U.S. – we are having Santa Ana’s in Southern California right now. When it is 75-85 degrees during the day, it’s hard to get excited about making a hot and hearty meal. But I persevered with a fall recipe and I’m so glad I did. Jordan and I visited the farmer’s market on Saturday and got a beautiful bunch of rainbow colored carrots. I remembered that I had some stew meat in the freezer along with some red potatoes and sweet potatoes in the pantry. I looked online for beef stew recipes that I could throw in the crockpot and then I modified it a bit. So in record time, we had a delicious and hearty meal. I loved the addition of the sweet potatoes. It was so colorful and flavorful. I also loved how everything just got dumped in- it truly was a one pot meal. No browning the meat before. Yay! The meat was tender and the beef stew had a rich flavor.

We made a batch of our delicious one hour cast iron focaccia to go with it. Who cares if we ate the stew in our shorts and tank tops – it was delicious!

My Daughter and I- Crockpot Beef Stew 1

The Best Crockpot Beef Stew
2 pounds beef stew meat, (cut into bite-sized pieces), I used a bit less
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp pepper
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 T minced garlic
6 oz can tomato paste
32 oz beef broth
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups carrots, diced
5 – 6 small red potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 3 cups)
2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning

1 cups frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup water

1. Combine the first 12 ingredients in the crock pot and mix well. Cook on LOW for 10 hours or on HIGH for 6-7 hours.

2. About 30 minutes before serving, mix the flour and the water together in a small dish and pour into the crockpot. Mix until well combined. This will add a nice thickness to the stew. Next add in your frozen peas and corn. Continue cooking covered for 30 minutes.

Recipe found on familyfreshmeals.com and adapted slightly.


Friday Favorites- Happy Week Before Food

Well, Thanksgiving is nearly upon us and I’m getting quite excited for pumpkin pie. And stuffing. And all the food in general 😉 Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

And on a completely unrelated note, here’s a Friday Favorites post for your viewing pleasure.

Favorite New Etsy Shop– ComeJew


Delicate, pretty jewelry, and it’s inexpensive? Win-win.

Favorite Sweet – Sour Cream Pumpkin Muffins


Yum. Just yum.

Favorite Wanderlust- Glacier National Park



This makes me want to pack a backpack and leave home right now.

Favorite Outfit Inspiration



If this doesn’t look like Christmas to you then I don’t know what will.

Favorite Drool- 7-Ingredient Zuppa Toscana (Creamy Gnocchi Soup with Kale and Sausage)



This looks absolutely, amazingly delicious.

Favorite Words to Remember



Lysa TerKeurst’s devotions are great- well-written, funny and thought-provoking. Click here to read them or subscribe.

Favorite Funny



Oh my goodness. I have no idea what this is from, but it makes me laugh so hard.

Favorite New Song- Tee Shirt by Birdy




Fashion Friday- Fall Wardrobe

We don’t really have season changes around here- there’s a reason that the year-round average in our little town is 73*. Pretty tough, huh? 😉 Because of the lack of cold weather, as soon as the temperature’s drop into the low 70’s, the fall clothing makes an appearance.

During Fall and Winter I tend to gravitate towards wearing jeans and chunky knit sweaters- occasionally I’ll mix it up and wear a dress and tights, but comfort is still king.

With this in mind, this week’s Fashion Friday includes items that I either own, or things that would fit perfectly into the Fall “uniform” that I am constantly wearing about this time of year.

Ombre Sweater



This is unusual and cute.

 Rumor Has It Bag

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I have a similar purse from Tilly’s that I love- I’ve had it for almost 2 years and use it nearly every day and it’s held together amazingly well. I thought this Roxy bag from Tilly’s was super cute too.

Vintage Slub V-Tee


I have two of these shirts and they’re great. The cut is relaxed and the fabric is not at all clingy which is normally a pet peeve of mine with shirts like this.

Cinnamon Infinity Scarf


I don’t wear scarves very much but I do love infinity scarves and this one is so cute.

Lauren Conrad Skinny Jeggings


These are, without a doubt the most comfortable pants I’ve ever worn. They are so soft and stretchy but seem to hold their shape well even after multiple wears. I’ve also been pleasantly surprised at how much they look like real jeans, with all the comfy benefits of jeggings. I don’t know about you, but normally when I see jeggings, they don’t look like real denim. These look nice while still being insanely comfortable.

Drape-front Cardigan


A cute alternative to a cardigan.

Taupe Desert Wedges 


I bought these last Fall and love them- even with the wedge, they’re super comfy.

Wood Ridge Jacket

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I love my military jacket and this one is super cute. Here’s another (more expensive) option that comes in multiple colors.

Boxy Cable Knit Sweater



Another chunky knit sweater that I love.