413c820bb21cd09a23535c140057f83729ced692af2597b84f Friday We're In Love Google

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Holiday Baking Night: Gingerbread Cookies

Thanks to Nestle Toll House for sponsoring this post, and thanks to readers for reading the occasional sponsored post so we can continue to fund our date nights. 

We love fitting in some holiday baking, evidence here and here. It's a holiday tradition we've created together that always gets us in the holiday spirit. However, often the busy season gets the best of us and we have a hard time finding the time to make the baked goods we so love doing. 

We found a wonderful secret that let us fit in a holiday baking date night even on a very busy week. 
Because of this baby we were able to welcome these friends into our home! 

This year Nestle rolled out the Nestle Rolled & Ready Cooke Dough Sheets. For about $2.50 you can pick up one of these and make a full tray of cookies.

No kidding with the rolled and ready part, you pull them out, cut out your cookies, and bake for about 8 minutes. It is pretty awesome to save all the steps of baking in the prep process.

We felt like such cheaters, but cheating on baking never felt so right!

 I was nervous they would taste too processed since cookies are my love language and I'm a baking snob. I can't speak for their other flavors, but their gingerbread was seriously excellent! I kept thinking how excellent it would be to make a gingerbread house or creative structure with fresh dough all ready to go. Maybe next year things won't be so crazy for Jacob at work, and we'll be engineering fun structures with our own designs!

We were glad the 30 minutes we had available together was spent decorating and enjoying the spoils. It's amazing how a few shortcuts and being resourceful means you can still enjoy some of your holiday traditions even during a busy season!
If you're dreaming of cookies, check out they many other Toll House holiday cookie recipes here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Gourmet Cooking for Two

Date Info: 
Gourmet Cooking for Two   
Price: Cost of Ingredients Plus Cookbook ($15-$25)

One of our absolute favorite things to do together is to cook. We don't blog this often, for a few reasons. 1. Our kitchen is small an it's hard to set up for an awesome shot or tutorial. 2. We do it so much, we'd literally be posting multiple couple's cooking recipes a week. Maybe in the future we'll up our game, but for the time being we'll just keep it to a few now and then. 

I recently had a friend ask me if I'd be willing to try out her new cookbook- Gourmet Cooking for Two. There was no way I could say no, we love cooking, we love gourmet, and we always have to half recipes for just the two of us. I put a date night on our calendar for a cooking night in. 
Romantic Date Night- Cook a Romantic Meal at Home

It took about 20 shots to get the two above, most involved sword fights or Jacob putting utensils in front of my face, just for the record. He's a good sport, but he's still a husband who likes to make pictures challenging sometimes. Good thing I typically think it's hilarious. 

We went for a romantic dessert, and decided that meant chocolate. Lava cakes are something we've never made and are actually super easy, so that won out of many amazing options in the cookbook. 

They came out awesome! About 15 minutes of prep and 12 minutes of cooking later, we had one of the best desserts we've ever made!

The dessert was awesome, but let me tell you what I loved about this cookbook. 
1. Gourmet, yet easy to make recipes. Chefs of any level can find good stuff in here. They also are very common type recipes, so you won't have to spend an arm and a leg at a fine food store to make anything. 
2. Options for appetizers, side dishes, main courses, and desserts. It's easy to plan a full menu at home. 
3. It's pretty inexpensive for a book this high of quality! 
4. The Romantic Tips on each page. We need all the help we can get, and the ideas were seriously great! 
5. The most important- the food is delicious! 

We'll be using this baby again! And seriously, if you need a fun, romantic, inexpensive date night at home I highly recommend buying Gourmet Cooking for Two!

How to Turn a Target GiftCard® Into a Date

We partnered with Target to bring you this slice of holiday cuteness as part of their #GiftCardCheer campaign.

If you've been a reader for a while you know that I absolutely love to give my husband dates for Christmas! We are definitely people who love experiences and memories more than just things. The past three years I've given my husband a year of dates for Christmas, with one pre-planned, pre-paid date for every month of the upcoming year.

A cute, yet masculine letter box from target with some printed folders, and file labels set me up for the perfect way to give this gift!

I've had many people ask me lately for ideas, and I'm happy to point them to our archive of dates by type/price/season etc. I know we live in a big city, and sometimes readers aren't able to do some of the unique things we find to do. Every now and then I get an email asking what is something anyone could do in pretty much any city/town. We do have ideas that are easy to do at home listed, but I think this is a fun challenge where true creativity comes into play. I look at everything as date potential- for example, a box of cereal can be a night making a fun dessert, building sculptures out of cereal, etc. There's always more than meets the eye!

That got me thinking about gift cards and how you can find a gift card to almost anywhere and turn it into a fun date with a little creativity. I think it's time for the stigma that gift cards aren't personal or a good gift to go away- don't we all love getting them and choosing fun things for ourselves? Plus hello, clearance after the holiday rules!

Let's use one of my personal favorite locations that tends to get a lot of my paycheck- Target. I think most people would open a gift card and think about the clothes, beauty, or necessity items they may need that this card could help with. Although these are all great things, I love to give them away to people for wedding presents with a date idea in mind.


A date all planned and paid is one of the best presents to give, particularly for Christmas! A little fun wrapping and an explanation of the date are all that is needed.

Here's a few samples I put together:

Happy holiday date giving!

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Target via Mode Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Target.

We partnered with Target to bring you this slice of holiday cuteness as part of their #GiftCardCheer campaign.

Friday, December 5, 2014

DSLR Cannon EOS Rebel T5 Giveaway

I'm so excited to team up with 15 other bloggers to giveaway a Canon EOS Rebel T5 with two lenses. We thought a shakeup for a gift just for you was in order so one of our lucky readers could gift for themselves. I can't say enough for my beloved Cannon Rebel and how much it upped my photography and blogging game. It really is such a great thing to have whether you're new to photography or a veteran. Plus think of the great pictures you'll nab in time for the holidays and the new year! Feel free to check out all the ladies joining me on this giveaway by clicking on their image below.

Image Map
The giveaway will run from December 5th to the 19th and it is open to US and Canada only. All entries will be validated and if there are any issues with your entry all will be voided. So you better be honest because we are going to be like Santa and check it all twice. Good luck! And happy holidays!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  Disclaimer: This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada residents only. This blog and any participating blogs did not receive compensation for the published material in this post. No purchase required to enter this giveaway and there is a limit of one entrant per household. Void where prohibited. Odds of winning are determined by the number of valid entries received. Entries will be verified. Winner will be chosen by Random.org and will be emailed via the email address used to enter the contest. New winner(s) will be chosen if original winner(s) has not responded within 48 hours of email notification. This giveaway is not administered, sponsored, endorsed by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest or other social media outlet. Disclaimer is posted in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. 


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