Love this 2016 holiday gift guide. There's something for everyone on your list (including you!). Happy holidays!

2016 Holiday Gift Guide

My  2016 Holiday Gift Guide was so fun to put together. Picks include affiliate links and direct links for easy shopping. I hope you find something special for someone you love! 

Love this 2016 holiday gift guide. There's something for everyone on your list (including you!). Happy holidays!


FOR THE FASHIONISTA

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I adore these inspiring Mantra Band A good friend bought me LIVE WHAT YOU LOVE for my birthday last year and I always layer it with my other bracelets.  I love feel good jewelry. This is the perfect gift for a friend, sister, co-worker or teacher.


FOR THE BREAKFAST LOVER

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Give your family something to rise and shine about — 75 amazingly good recipes that everyone will love. Written by my friend and fellow RD, Katie Morford of Mom’s Kitchen Handbook this awesome collection of breakfast delights will make the first meal of the day worth waking up for. Surprise the breakfast lover in your life with this cookbook here.


FOR THE STRESSED OUT

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One of my favorite apps right now is the Calm for the iphone. It’s a quick and easy way to get some peace and serenity into your life, right when you need it. I love listening to a waterfall sleep story before bed or the sound of waves crashing on a beach while I work.  Give someone you love a little zen with guided sessions and tips for managing stress. A meditation subscription might be the perfect gift for everyone I know.


FOR YOUR BESTIE

salt

I recently attended a chakra clearing in a salt cave and I’m now pretty much obsessed with the power of Himalayan salt to heal and soothe my soul. Crazy, right? Hey, don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it. This super cool 100% rock salt lamp from Urban Outfitters is a symbol for me to stop stressing out and get focused on the present. I love it for my desk, but it’s perfect for any peaceful nook in the home. Buy it here.


 FOR HER

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These Beautycounter from Beautycounter are the perfect one-stop-compact for any gal on the go! Both palettes mix best sellers and a few new shades for just the right balance. Added bonus: BC uses porcelain flower extract in their powders, a Thai bloom known for its antioxidant benefits to help moisturize the delicate skin around the eyes that creates a flattering, luminous effect. Check out all of the Beautycounter holiday gift sets here.


FOR THE FASHIONISTA

1451487_545098458909116_1649397358_nI absolutely love Stitch Fix. I’m a little obsessed, actually. I’ve received over 30 of these lovely square boxes to date. I’ve introduced Stitch Fix to most of my friends and family..even my 70-something mom loves getting her box! Stitch Fix is like having your own personal stylist on call: just complete a style Profile and their stylists handpick a selection of five clothing items (plus jewelry, purses & shoes) unique to your taste, budget and lifestyle. You buy what you like and return the rest (shipping is free both ways). If you buy all 5 pieces, you get 25% off the entire box! A $25 Stitch Fix gift card allows your friend to try the service for free. It’s a genius idea! You give the gift…they deliver the perfect present.  Grab a few gift cards here.


FOR THE BAKER

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You can’t have too many cake servers….a fact I know to be true. This Maelle Cake Server from Anthropologie is adorable and will be sure to please the baker on your list. Click here to buy.


FOR THE KITCHEN

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We use these bowls every day in our house and so will the lucky gal who gets a set from you!  They stack well, come in gorgeous colors, and are a timeless dinnerware classic. Pick up a set here


FOR THE iPHONE PHOTOGRAPHER

olloclip

This Olloclip might be the coolest phone gadget – EVER. It’s a 4 in 1 lens that you clip onto your iphone that allows you to take fisheye, wide-angle, macro, and 10x & 15x photos in seconds. It also weighs in at less than an ounce. This bad boy is going on my own Christmas list for sure.


FOR THE SMOOTHIE LOVER

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A new or reconditioned Vitamix might be the very best gift EVER! It’s definitely my favorite kitchen gadget of all time! I use my machine every single day. It’s by far one the best kitchen appliance investment I’ve made (and I bought mine as a reconditioned model). In December, you can save up to $90 on a new qualifying machine on Vitamiz OR you can click here to learn how to get a reconditioned machine.


FOR THE KNITTER

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How cute is a stoneware yarn bowl? This gift has my sister name all over it. Make the knitter in your life happy and you may just get a new scarf. Buy it

FOR THE DOG LOVER

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I just love this handcrafted ornament stamped with your favorite pet’s name. It’s super cute and a great gift for that special dog (or dog lover) in your life.


FOR THE GAMER

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Because we’re all going to play with our phones during the game anyway, right? Game of Phones is a genius way to get full participation during game night. For the gamer who has it all, I bet they don’t have this


FOR THE TEACHER

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I love this super cute mug idea for that special teacher in your life. I’m thinking Miss Long might be receiving one of these this year. It’s snarky and a little dark, but that’s why I love it.


Happy Holidays and happy shopping!

Wild Blueberry Sweet Potato Stacks

With my gluten free Wild Blueberry Sweet Potato Stacks, I’ve taken all the taste, flavor and antioxidant goodness of a whole sweet potato and condensed it into these amazing pop-it-into-your-mouth bites. This recipe provides built-in portion control, something my family definitely appreciates!

I rarely get THIS excited about a recipe, but I’m crazy for these Wild Blueberry Sweet Potato Stacks.  I love cooking savory dishes using Wild Blueberries and this recipe I developed for the folks at Wild Blueberries is one of my favorite yet! If you’re looking for an easy holiday side dish that combines the intense flavor (and antioxidant power!) of Wild Blueberries with the delicious savory goodness of a sweet potato, this recipe is for you. I also love that these amazing pop-it-into-your-mouth bites provide built-in portion control, something my family definitely appreciates.

CLICK HERE to head on over to the Wild Blueberries blog for the recipe.

 

spaghetti squash ideas

Tex-Mex Spaghetti Squash

 

spaghetti squash ideas

I usually make spaghetti with my spaghetti squash — meaning I scrape the squash out with a fork to create noodles and then serve with sauce or sauteed with veggies. And this way is great, especially if you’re low-carbing it. Sometimes I even use a jarred tomato sauce for a super quick meal.  I love Trader Joe’s Puttanesca sauce.

spaghetti squash with black beans and cheese

This time I decided to go with a more Mexican feel. Friday night is nacho night at my house and I love the combination of sauteed peppers, onions, fresh cilantro and black beans on top of my corn tortillas.  This is my go-to combo when I want  to taste Mexican flavors.  I also make it cold by tossing those same ingredients (minus the onion) together in a bowl with frozen roasted corn. I did that here with this Tex-Mex Breakfast Tostada with Egg.

tex mex spaghetti squash

Of course you can’t forget the cheese in this dish. It really makes it.  Once I saute the veggies I sprinkle some shredded cheese on top and then just heat it in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Once the cheese melts over the beans and you stir it up you get a deliciously gooey combination of yummy Mexican flavors. Totally better than nachos, in my opinion.

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I also love that this dish is super hearty and filling, but pretty low in calories. You can eat an entire spaghetti squash for just over 200 calories. You couldn’t eat an entire squash by yourself, but I ate this half for dinner and was actually a little over-full. The squash itself is nutrient-rich and full of fiber and the beans add protein (and more fiber!).  You could certainly add some chicken to this recipe, too.

The next time you’re in the mood for tex-mex flavors, try this healthy and satisfying dish!

Tex-Mex Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash, sliced and cleaned
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • sea salt
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used Cabot Colby Jack)
  • Olive oil

Instructions

  1. With your knife, add a few slits into the squash where you intend to slice down the middle.
  2. Place squash on a dish and microwave whole squash for about 5-6 minutes (once it's a little softened it will be easier to slice).
  3. When ready, remove from microwave and slice down the middle.
  4. Remove seeds and sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  5. Roast at 400 for about 35 minutes.
  6. Dice onion and chop bell pepper into bite sized pieces.
  7. Heat about 1 tsp olive oil in a saute pan and add veggies. Season with salt.
  8. Saute until softened, about 3 minutes, then add beans and cilantro. Mix together and season again with salt, if needed.
  9. When squash is ready, add bean mixture to the center of squash and top with cheese. You can place squash back in warm oven to melt cheese or microwave for about 45 seconds.
  10. To eat, mix bean and cheese mixture with squash noodles.
http://foodconfidence.com/2016/11/17/tex-mex-spaghetti-squash/

Cheesy tex-mex inspired spaghetti squash is a low carb, low calorie dinner recipe that is quick and easy to make and totally satisfying!