Happy Friday everyone – holy cow it’s been a hot minute since I last posted a Friday Favorites post!

Life’s been crazy lately with work, family, holidays, keeping Lincoln away from the Christmas tree, and trying to stay awake past 8pm, which means there’s been a serious lack of time for surfing the internet. Know what? I kind of liked it. In an always-consuming culture it’s been nice to step back and stop scrolling. Except for Instagram, of course. #cantstopwontstop

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That said, I’ve collected some fun finds here and there over the past month which I’m excited to share with you today! I debated posting a “holiday gift guide” type Friday Faves, but am going to save that post for next week. Today it’s all about scrumptious food, winter fashion (dying,) and home decor projects that I’m asking Santa to bring me. Fingers crossed! ;)

After a busy November we’ve got a free weekend on the horizon, which is good because both of my boys are under the weather. Praying I can stay well so I can take care of them both. Wish us all luck – we’re going to need it.

MY OTHER RECIPES

Well wherever you are and whatever you do have a wonderful weekend, and in the meantime please enjoy my favorite finds from around the web in this week’s Friday Favorites (and don’t miss the custom watercolor house portrait giveaway at the end of this post!)

Click the light blue links to be taken to the original source.

Favorite devour: Chili Cheese Polenta Bowls. A friend and I were recently talking about, as ghosts, what we’d say to our living loved ones to let them know we were still with them a la “ditto” from the movie Ghost. Her and my “I want you to know that I’m still here and hovering” phrase? I can’t. Seriously all. the. time. Like this Chili Cheese Polenta Bowl? I CAN’T! Ben and I have been super into grits/polenta since our trip to Savannah and this recipe knocks it out of the park.

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Favorite DIY: DIY Christmas JOY Sign Tutorial. This is the project I’m hoping “Santa” will bring me for Christmas. :) Isn’t it awesome? I have several spots around the house I’d love to hang it each year.

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Favorite crave: Sunday Brunch Bacon and Egg Yakiudon. See? Several cultures recognize how delicious the combination of eggs, pasta, and bacon are! Oh my gosh I would destroy a bowl of this goodness.

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Favorite learn: Minimalist Baker Food Photography School (<– affiliate link, FYI!) You guys, my friends Dana and John of Minimalist Baker (whom I finally got to meet at ChoppedCon this Fall after talking online for YEARS!) have been working incredibly hard on their new project, Food Photography School. If you are a new food blogger, or even a seasoned one, I urge you to check out their library of 130+ videos to visually learn everything from the basics of food photography to equipment, lighting, styling, action shots, beverages, editing, shooting for Pinterest, and way, way, WAY more.

I’m a visual person so being able to see the techniques being described, vs reading about them, is a huge bonus for me. The video below has a great overview of the school, and has the happiest little song. Love it (and them!) :)

Favorite sip: Homemade Vanilla Chai Tea Latte. Finally, an approachable homemade chai tea latte! Starbuck’s Chai Tea Lattes are my number one favorite thing to order there but I’m trying to limit dairy (cheese, I just can’t quit you!) and Starbucks doesn’t offer any dairy-free options besides soy milk which I don’t like. Already long story short, I haven’t been able to drink them for awhile and am pumped to give this recipe a try using almond milk at home.

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Favorite clean: Green Works All Purpose Cleaner. For years I’ve been on the hunt for a streak free, odorless, powerful kitchen cleaner that’s naturally derived – well, the search is over! Green Works leaves zero streaks, is granite safe, and actually works. More importantly, since Lincoln’s now eating at the counter on a booster seat, vs in a high chair, I don’t worry so much about him eating food off the counter that he’s thrown past his placemat. Buy it at Target!

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Favorite treat: Hot Cocoa Cookies with Marshmallows. These chocolately, chewy cookies are hiding a surprise underneath those fluffy, melted marshmallows. Chocolate Crinkle Cookies meeting Rice Krispie Treats – so good!

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Favorite spot: Lake Louise and Lake Agnes. I’ve been loving Mr and Mrs Globetrot, a travel diary blog chronicling a couple’s 6 month honeymoon around the world + more recent travels. I feel like I’m right along with them when I read their fun, approachable posts. This one caught my eye in particular because I’ve been dying to go to Lake Louise for nearly a decade now!

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Favorite snack. Recently I snacked on this festive, crunchy, creamy bite as part of my partnership with The Laughing Cow to create yummy snacks to savor. All I did was dip gluten-free mini pretzels in The Laughing Cow White Cheddar cheese then dot with salted pistachios and sweet dried cranberries. Hit. The. Spot.

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Favorite find: Hanging Wire Fruit or Vegetable Sphere. Aren’t these the coolest? I’m always digging around for produce like citrus, garlic, onions, and avocado in the big bowls I have on my counter and these spheres are a great way to store and separate them.

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Favorite dinner: Roasted Butternut Squash Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta. Every ingredient in this dish speaks to my soul. Butternut squash, goat cheese, pasta, and bacon? I gasped out loud when I saw this picture and recipe!

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Favorite reminder: December Produce Guide. This guide is a great way to make sure you’re getting what’s fresh and in-season right now at the grocery store!

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Favorite fashion: Cozy Cardigan. This outfit pretty much captures my ideal style. How that translates to me leaving the bedroom in jeans and a black fleece 6 days a week is beyond me.

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Favorite dip: Chicken Cordon Bleu Dip. Like I said, cheese – I just can’t quit you! How dreamy does this cheesy dip laced with bacon and ham look?

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Favorite sweet: Salted Caramel Coconut Browines. Oh yeah – be sure to check out the secret ingredient that makes these brownies super moist and delicious!

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