Casual Friday

A couple weeks ago, we got to make Christmas cookies with the girls and yesterday we shared our favorite recipe and a few photos over on Crate and Barrel’s blog. Over the years we have learned it’s not about the way the cookies taste (they WILL have too much frosting), or how they look (really, way too much frosting–gobs on top of gobs), or the mess that will be made (flour. everywhere.)–it’s about the memories and traditions we’re able to make as a family–and there’s not a more heart-warming feeling or sight. So, we pump up the Christmas playlist, hang some garland across the range hood, don our aprons and take a few hours together in the kitchen. You can see the full  article along with links to everything we used and the recipe, right here. The girls’ favorite part was definitely stamping the cookies for Santa. If you don’t already…

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CLJ Gift Guides: Gifts for the Home Cook

Most of you know by now that Chris does all the cooking around here. It’s a real passion of his and his wish lists are always made up of almost exclusively cooking equipment that he’s been eyeing. So we worked on this gift guide together to bring you all the best things to get the people that love to cook or entertain and partnered with Gift Card Mall for Williams-Sonoma, too, since I always end up tucking a Williams-Sonoma gift card in Chris’s stocking so he can get himself a little something extra–it’s the easiest, most well-received gift every year. Besides that, we really recommend: 1. A Wellness Mat so their marathon cooking sessions are a little more comfortable. This therapeutic mat cradles your feet with an amazingly cushioned layer of support, suspending your body weight and reducing stress and fatigue–perfect for home cooks. $129 2. Marble Cheese slicer with board. We’ve had…

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CLJ Gift Guides: 31 Affordable Stocking Stuffers for Everyone!

We have more gift guides for you today! Starting with these stocking ideas and later today, we’ll be sharing gifts for the home cook. Growing up, our stockings usually consisted of an orange in the toe, candy and some fruity shampoo–a luxury to have your own shampoo for a little while in a family of five girls. But since marrying Chris, the stocking game has changed a bit. There are actual bonus presents in there! One year, Chris got me 30 different kinds of chapsticks. Every kind imaginable. They filled my entire stocking and it was one of the best gifts he could have given me. Not only am I always losing my lip balm, but I got to try every kind under the sun. However, for us, we keep stocking gifts small enough to fit in the stocking (obviously) and inexpensive, too. All are under $30, but most are…

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A Simple, Little Gadget that Changed our Lives + A simplehuman giveaway!

This post is sponsored by simplehuman. Chris has always been hyper-aware of cross-contamination in the kitchen. He wears gloves when handling raw meat. We have a touch faucet so he can turn on the water–with his elbow!–and we now have a sensor soap dispenser from simplehuman. (We love it so much, at the end of the post we’re giving one away!)   While Chris does the cooking around here, I can’t tell you how many times the girls or I have been covered in stickiness or germs from school or paint or some other crafty mess that got transferred onto the soap dispenser to live until it was sanitized. Or how many times Chris has said, “Jules, can you squirt some soap in my hands” after handling raw chicken. A hands-free soap dispenser makes so. much. sense. I love the sleek, but discreet dispenser–it fits so well next to the sink and…

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