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!

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!

Black + White Fundraiser

Recently we attended a fundraiser for the Team Nat Foundation to raise funds for cancer research. It was a great party for an even greater cause. Here’s what I wore: Top / Skirt / Shoes Zara

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Having fun with the photographer while my hubs didn’t know what was going on.

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Photography by Lizzie Renfrow http://www.ra-haus.com

Halloween Costume + CAKE!

For Halloween I made a chocolate bundt cake with my new bundt pan. I chose the recipe because of the way it looked so I wasn’t expecting much in terms of taste, but DAMN was I wrong. This cake was moist and rich and went great with ice cream or a glass of milk. This one is going into my book of keepers.
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***Updated with recipe:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups dutch process cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup sour milk
  • 1 cup freshly brewed strong black coffee
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Directions

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a bundt pan and dust the inside with cocoa powder, set aside.
Sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside.
In a mixer on low add the milk, coffee, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla one at a time. mix until everything is incorporated. Then, with the mixer still on low speed, slowly add in the dry ingredients. Once all of the flour mixture is added, mix the batter for a full four minutes on medium speed.
Then, pour the batter into the bundt pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Then, dust with powdered sugar and serve.

My hubs dressed up as Guy Fieri and I went as Clockwork Orange. DINERS DRIVE-INS AND DIVES! was the only thing he said all night.
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This was a fun project that my neighbors seemed to enjoy.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset