Wedding with Rent the Runway

We went to a beautiful wedding recently at the JW Marriott Hotel. It was a gorgeous night in Miami and this location could not be better. For formal weddings where I want to wear a gown I generally like to rent since these occasions are far and few between. I rented this Badgley Mischka gown from Rent the Runway which is a lovely piece that would look great on any body type. I was also considering this sequin green number but I’m happy I didn’t because someone else was wearing it!

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I accessorized with this Loren Hope necklace and Jeffrey Campbell heels.

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Very Merry Christmas Decor

Nick and I have been in our condo for just about 3 years, and now that we’re married and have a puppy it seems only right to get our first Christmas tree and properly decorate our home. Unfortunately he was out of town for the Home Depot fiasco of scouting and transporting a tree. Not an easy task when you’re in your work wear and dragging around a little dog. Needless to say, everything came together quite nicely.

My most proud piece is my first DIY banner. I learned how to make them from this lovely blogger: Ella Claire

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This last one here is our wedding invitation that I cut into strips and twirled. I also make these for my friends as part of their wedding gift – huge hit!

Skirts required: Winter Florida Weather

Ahh December, holiday decor, sunshine and skirts. Miami is a beautiful place to be in December and that’s because the temperature doesn’t go below 65. This OOTD is dedicated to you 305.

Sweater – H&M, similar here and here / Necklaces – Nordstrom Rack & Madewell / Skirts – ASOS / Boots – Vince Camuto

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Processed with VSCOcam with m5 presetPepper photo bomb!

Holiday Treats Part II + Puppy Holiday Sweater

The morning after Thanksgiving can be quite a doozy. To help recover from my turkey hangover I supplied these amazing Gingery Muffins from one of my fav blogs A Cozy Kitchen.

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Recipe from A Cozy Kitchen

For muffins:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup buttermilk, shaken
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup dark molasses
2 large eggs

For glaze:
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tablespoon whole milk

1. Heat oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in middle. Line a muffin tin with liners.
2. In a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground allspice and ground cloves.
3. In a measuring cup, stir together buttermilk and vanilla until combined.
4. In a another bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar until light in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in molasses until well combined and then add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until well incorporated.
5. (Don’t be alarmed if mixture looks separated and curdled.) Scrape bowl and add one third flour mixture, beating on low speed just until flour is incorporated. Add half buttermilk mixture and once batter is smooth add another third flour mixture. Add remaining buttermilk and mix until incorporated. Add remaining flour mixture, and beat until incorporated and smooth.
6. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tin about 3/4 of the way. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool muffins in tin for about 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a cooling rack.
7. While muffins are cooling, mix together powdered sugar with milk and stir until smooth. When muffins are completely cooled, pour icing on top of muffins and top with candied ginger. Serve right away. If you’re baking these things up and taking them somewhere, I’d recommend icing ‘em right before serving.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAlso can’t beat a hot cup of apple cider. It’ll make your lips smack!

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Pepper was also looking very festive in her Christmas sweater by Freshlotus.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Holiday Treats Part I

Thanksgiving was hosted by my aunt and uncle this year but there was no way I was going to show up empty handed. So in addition to the customary bottle(s) of wine, we brought spiced nuts and biscuits, of course.

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Rosemary Chili Spiced Almonds

1 1/2 C of raw almonds
2 tsp rosemary
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp agave nectar
2 tsps chili or cayenne or combo

Preheat oven to 350.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper and non-stick spray. Do not forget the spray or else you will have wax paper stuck to your nuts. No bueno.

Mix ingredients all together in a bowl then evenly distribute onto baking sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes or until you can smell the almonds.

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Honey Chai Roasted Almonds

Recipe from Joy the Baker

3 cups raw almonds

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 to 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper (depending on how spicy you like your nuts)

3 tablespoons honey

coarse sea salt for topping

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Grease the parchment paper with olive oil or cooking spray.

Place almonds on baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes.

While the almonds are in the oven, in a small bowl, toss together cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, salt, and pepper.

Remove the toasted almonds from the oven.  Drizzle with honey and toss to coat.

Sprinkle with the spice mixture and toss well to ensure that all of the almonds have a bit of spice. Sprinkle generously with coarse sea salt.  And heck.. drizzle with a bit more honey if you’d like.

Return to the oven and toast for 8 minutes.  Remove from the oven and immediately trasnsfer the warm nuts to a plate to cool or jars for storage.  The nuts will begin to harden as they cool and become difficult to remove.

Store almonds in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

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Rosemary Parmesan Drop Biscuits

Drop biscuits are an easy way to make biscuits without the hassle of rolling out dough and cutting out the biscuits.

2cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces)
2teaspoons baking powder
1/2teaspoon baking soda
1teaspoon sugar
3/4teaspoon table salt
3/4cup grated Parmesan cheese (1 1/2 ounces)
1/2teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1cup buttermilk (cold)
8tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (about 5 minutes), plus 2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing biscuits

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, Parmesan, and rosemary in large bowl. Combine buttermilk and 8 tablespoons melted butter in medium bowl, stirring until butter forms small clumps (see photo below).

2. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula until just incorporated and batter pulls away from sides of bowl. Using greased 1/4-cup dry measure, scoop level amount of batter and drop onto parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet (biscuits should measure about 2 1/4 inches in diameter and 1 1/4 inches high). Repeat with remaining batter, spacing biscuits about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake until tops are golden brown and crisp, 12 to 14 minutes.

3. Brush biscuit tops with remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 5 minutes before serving.