Holiday Gift Giving Guide

 Holiday Gift Giving Guide

Have you ever been at a loss for what to give someone for Christmas? I have. My husband is pretty impossible to shop for. His favorite things to buy are things for me. Ugh! For a girl who loves to give gifts and not receive them, it makes it pretty tough.  I have found out about so many awesome products and gifts from my friends’ blog’s. I love it when they share their favorite things or their holiday gift giving guide. I am excited to share some of the items that have caught my eye this season.

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For whomever on your list:

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  • Williams-Sonoma Essential Oils Collection, Spiced Chestnut Hand Soap– Williams Sonoma’s essential oil soap is one of my favorites. I probably wash my hands about 100 times a day. During the holiday months, my skin can become cracked and dry, but not anymore. Since I started using this awesome soap it keeps my skin hydrated and clean! It’s a win win situation. Plus, let’s talk about the scent. It’s delicious!
  • Lovely People Holiday Prints– Kristin and I met on Instagram. I love her art and she likes my cookies. I am particularly smitten with her prints for Christmas.
  • Vintage Marquee Lights 24″ Ampersand– Who wouldn’t love to open up this bad boy on Christmas morning?! I know I would! It would make SUCH an awesome addition to any room of the house!

For the Foodie in your life:

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  • Crystal Faye Gingerbread Apron- Seriously? Do you have a mini me? Then they need this adorable apron for the holiday season.
  • Sur La Table 9″ Pie Crust Shield– My friend, Christina swears by this thing whenever she’s making pies for the holiday season. If you’ve ever baked a pie only to have the outside crust start browning and darkening way quicker than the rest of the pie, then this thing will save you! 10-15 minutes after your pie has gone in the oven, you place this shield on the outer crust and continue baking away for the remaining time! It helps the outside crust brown much slower, allowing the rest of the pie to cook and keep up! No more burnt outer crusts!
  • Sur La Table iSi Silicone Bowls– These may not seem like the gift that says, “WoW!” But believe me, these are the perfect gift. They are the gift that keeps on giving. Any baker will appreciate these bowls.
  • Artfully Designed Co Deer Silhouette Stencil– LOVE THIS STENCIL. Stencils are a wonderful tool.  They can help make complicated designs much easier and faster.  I love making white cookies then using this beautiful stencil in gold or silver on top. Pop over to Shannon’s Etsy site to see her many designs. Stencils help add depth and design to simple cookies. 
  • Stencil Genie by Creative Cookier- You already know how much I love this thing! Any serious cookie decorator in your life will love and appreciate this thoughtful gift.

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  • Regency Half Height Bun Pan Mobile Rack– Cottage Laws are booming around the country. This bun rack is perfect for the home baker. You won’t have to have cookie sheets stacked all over your counters. It keeps things clean and tidy. My bun rack is one of my all time favorite purchases. It fits nicely in the corner.
  • Ice Milk Aprons’ Frosty Tin Marshmallow Apron- These are just about the nicest, hand crafted and most beautiful aprons.
  • The Royal Bakery Private Cake Decorating Classes- Lesley at the Royal Bakery is offering custom classes for one or two people (take a friend!) at her home near San Jose, California. The lessons will be tailored to suit your level of expertise and special requests. Email her at lesleywright@me.com for availability and pricing.

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  • Whisked Away Cutters Hot Air Balloon Cookie Cutter– Crafted with rounded corners on the handle for comfort, a reinforced area near the base of the handle and strong walls going down to a fine tapered edge for a precise, clean cut. I love that this cutter not only works for cookie dough but also fondant and gum paste! Plus, it’s adorable!
  • Copper Gifts Fancy Schmancy Square Cookie Cutter– 4″ of copper goodness is what this versatile cookie cutter is all about! Think of all the cookie cutting possibilities you could do with this thing!
  • Fat Daddio’s Silicone Baking Mat– If your favorite foodie doesn’t already have a silicone baking mat in their kitchen, get this for them! It’s the biggest baker/cooker must have! From cookies to toffee to cheese, nothing sticks to these babies! Plus they wash easily and are reusable over and over again! I have about a million in my kitchen! Adios tin foil and parchment paper!
  • Kopy Kake 300XK Projector– I could not survive without my KopyKake projector.  I knew that I could make good cookies, but I knew I needed help to make great cookies since I was not an artist. A Kopykake projector is an awesome tool that you can use for all sorts of art projects, not just for cookies.

For the Food Photographer in your life:

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  • Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots– If you’ve got a food blog friend, this book is for them. They’ll find everything from basic camera settings, lighting and composure, AND illustrates how to use props to really bring out each picture of your loved one’s food.
  • Ink and Elm Vinyl Photography Backdrops– As you already know, I LOVE these backdrops and use them OFTEN in my pictures on my blog and elsewhere. The quality is fantastic as are the pictures. They’d be a great addition to food photographer’s trick bag! I particularly love Scape Goat! Good news too- use code: THEBAKEDEQUATION15 for 15% off your entire backdrop purchase!

 

Six Sisters’ Stuff Cookbook {Giveaway}

Six Sisters’ Stuff  Cookbook Giveaway

If you follow me on social media, I am constantly saying that my cookies get to have all the fun. This summer I got to make cookies for TSRI’s Sizzling Summer Getaway and Kristen from Six Sisters’ Stuff received a gift box of our cookies. Now I like to consider myself savvy. So of course when you are making cookie gifts for some of the country’s best bloggers cookies, one must include salted butterscotch cookies. I know, it’s shameless. I stuck addictive substances into their gift boxes. Now the disclaimer is, that when I created our Salted Butterscotch cookies I had no idea the affect they would have on people.  I feel really honored that Kristen reached out to us to make a little something special for the Six Sister’s Getaway to Chicago this winter.

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You know what I love about making cookies, is that inspiration is everywhere. Do you see the red snowflake at the top of their 12 Days of Christmas cookbook? That is where I got the inspiration for the red snowflakes for their cookie sets.

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My assistant Cassia, received the Six Sisters’ Stuff Family Cookbook not too long ago. It’s funny just last week she was telling me about some of the awesome recipes she has tried. Cassia’s mom bought the Six Sisters’ Stuff Cookbook for her  birthday in May, and right away she knew it would be one of her favorites. Their recipes are simple and have accessible, non-intimidating ingredients, which is perfect for people like me! Her new favorite recipe, Creamy Chicken Lasagna, is from this cookbook. She has also made the Cheesy Garlic Texas Toast (with the lasagna, as recommended!), Crispy Onion Chicken (easily another new favorite), the amazing Turkey Meatball Subs, and several other things that have all been easy to make and turned out to be delicious.

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I decided that my cookies shouldn’t get to have all the fun, you should have some fun too. Kristen offered to giveaway a brand new 12 Days of Christmas Cookbook to a lucky reader of mine! Enter using the rafflecopter widget below to win this amazing cookbook full of all things awesome and fun!

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Congratulations to Shannon Hopper for winning our giveaway!!! 

November’s Favorite Things

November – Favorite Things

I loved doing last month’s favorite things so much, that I thought I would try and continue doing it more regularly. It’s kind of a win-win situation really; I get to showcase some amazing shops and products out there and you guys get to discover (hopefully) new finds! Pretty swell.

  • Artisan Caramels– This new book, by Sandy Arevalo is just darn gorgeous to look at. With 104 pages of delectable fail-proof recipes featuring, you guessed it- caramel, you’re sure to find something amazing and delicious to make. I’m thinking this would be a great gift to buy loved ones for Christmas! Or heck! Buy it for yourself and then make your family and friends the recipes in the book, package them up nicely, and send the edible treats their way! Everyone loves edible Christmas gifts! This book is available on either Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com.
  • Gluten Free Nutella Thumbprints–  I love Gluten Free and I love Nutella. It’s like the best of both world’s colliding. This cookie recipe by HeartBeet Kitchen sounds so yummy (and super easy to make)! My favorite part? She uses my all-time favorite gluten free flour- Cup4Cup! These are going on my list.
  • Petit Four Miniatures– A pretty awesome Etsy shop, if you ask me. Featuring hand crafted miniature food jewelry that comes either scented or unscented! Could you imagine?? I’m just adoring her macaron necklaces! This would be such a sweet (pun intended) holiday gift idea for the sweet tooth in your life.
  • Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter– Can you say yum? I love finding great recipes, especially ones that can add a little bit of protein and a little bit of sweet. I admire Christina, of Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe, so much. She has an amazing blog. If you have never visited, you should definitely poke around. She has every type of recipe you would want; from amazingly spiced veggies to salted caramel buttercream.
  • Elegant Wedding Hair Clip– How gorgeous is this clip from Beauty From Ashes USA? We have supported Romanian Orphan Ministries in the past couple of years. We love their mission. This past month Corey Burba and his family visited us while on furlough. They traveled through the United States meeting with some of the families and churches that support their ministry. We felt honored that they would take time to stop in Arizona and share about what they are currently doing. Beauty From Ashes provides handmade items produced by young Romanian orphans. Our mission is: Bringing the forgotten orphan youth in Romania to faith in Christ, discipling them, and equipping them to be productive citizens and Christians. At ROM all of our projects are designed to fulfill the goals of our mission statement. Buying these products, you help us fulfill this mission.
  • Stencil Genie by Creative Cookier- Ginny McCormick-Levack, The Creative Cookier, created an amazing tool called the Stencil Genie. I love stenciling cookies but I was so frustrated. I would move the stencil or I would not be able to hold it perfectly still while airbrushing. It would smudge or there would be over spray. The Stencil Genie is an amazing product. I love the results I get when I use it. It takes the frustration out of airbrushing. Want to see it in action? Check out this post on Instagram.

 

Some Favorite Things

 

Hey guys! It’s been a while since I’ve had some free time to sit down a write a little blog post. Sorry about that! Being in Arizona, as the summer closes, our wedding season begins. As you can imagine, our summer months are just way too hot to have any sort of ceremony! So, as soon as fall comes, we here at The Baked Equation get pretty busy!

I wanted to share some of my favorite things with you guys! Some are shops I just love and some are shops I buy frequently from (like Ink & Elm)! Thought it might be nice to share them all with you!

  • Once Blind Studios– I just love the art from these guys! Actually, I love them so much that the “El” piece you see, I own! I literally just put it up! It added a nice pop of color to my kitchen! Right now, through October they are having a birthday bash art sale! So, if you’ve been in the market from great art, you might want to hit them up. Find them on Facebook too!
  • WhiskedAwayCutters– I adore this particular Etsy shop! They make really great cookie and fondant cutters, which you know- is right up my alley! Personally, I own their Rectangle Cookie Cutter, which I use often for its versatility in the cookie world. I’m also currently loving their Maryann Plaque Cutter too, though. You can find them on Facebook, here!
  • Cardboard Sheek– Oh man I love this place. All of her adorable banners are literally made out of…you guessed it- CARDBOARD! But done in a nifty way. Pretty neat, huh? Right now (maybe it’s because I have Christmas on the brain) I am just in love with her Santa Mail banner- I mean, how cute is that?? Plus, that cookie banner! Here is the link so you can have one too! {Santa Mail and Cookies}
  • InkSpot Workshop– Again, I personally own that adorable trinket tray! I love mine so much! It’s got gold (or silver or bronze) foil and can be customizable to the max! What’s not to love? The font, foil color, and tray size are all up to you- and best of all- it reminds you of all of your favorite things.
  • Set in Stone- this Etsy shop is a great place for customizable gifts, if you ask me. You can personalize plaques or coasters with sayings and/or pictures of your loved ones. I’m thinking this would be a great Christmas present for grandparents- just upload an image of their grandkids! Right? For me, I’m really liking the “Friends are like Stars” coasters. I have so many friends who live in other states and these customizable babies would be great gifts to keep us closer than we really are!
  • Ink & Elm– OK, so I really, really love this place. If you’re a follower of mine on Instagram or Facebook, you are SURE to have seen many of her backdrops used in my pictures! They’re such great quality and so realistic. To say I have a lot, is an understatement 🙂 My personal favorite? Her Scape Goat vinyl photography backdrop. I use mine ALL the time. Also pretty neat?? If you use code: THEBAKEDEQUATION15 upon checking out, you get 15% off! Score!
  • LifeCreated– Just one look at the beautiful photography and I’m sure you’ll know just exactly why this shop is one of my favorite things right now. The colors! The serene and calm homey aspects and subject matters! I could go bankrupt here. There’s even an Etsy shop, where you can buy prints- which is pretty awesome. Loving? The Vintage Rolling Pin and Bowl Still Life picture. I love all things vintage and this piece just sings to my heart. I would love it in my own kitchen. You can find them on Facebook too.

So that’s it! There are my favorite things right now 🙂 What are some of yours?