Recipe | Espresso Chocolate Cinnamon Buns

Espresso-Chocolate-Cinnamon-Buns-10FINALLY! I’m finally back, you guys. That was an accidental two-isn months off of blogging, but I can’t say I have any regrets. Sometimes a rest-up to recharge and not be a crazed person every night after work and not feel like I have to answer every blog email within 24 hours — sometimes that’s SO nice. And I honestly can’t say I’m going to get back into a full-fledged five posts a week sort of schedule moving forward. I’m just being realistic, it’s probably unlikely.

But, I am back here. Now. Today. FRIDAY. All because I wanted to share these little bundles of joy with you.

It’s funny, I’ve never actually been much of a cinnamon bun person. I just always felt like the store-bought ones were gummy and so, so sweet, and just not my cup of tea. The homemade ones, on the other hand…

I made another of Joy’s cinnamon bun recipes sometimes last year and was completely smitten. It incorporated nuts and citrus zest and chocolate, all of my favorite things. And as for this spin on them — all I really have to say is CHOCOLATE and COFFEE.

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Hibernation

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You’d think the shorter days and the longer stints of darkness would bring out more of a blogging habit in me (it certainly has the past few years) — but for some reason, this year is different. My morning commute is largely in the dark, my evening commute is largely in the dark, and somewhere along the line I think my inspiration got lost. Perhaps it’s because I don’t have the daylight to photograph new recipes and fresh outfits. Or the cold that has me dressed like an eskimo every time I go outside.

This post isn’t meant to be a whining rant. Let’s call it instead an intentional refresh. There’s lot of inspiration to be found in snowy days. Lots of warm stews to be made and cozy scarves to be donned and warm-weather plans to be anticipated. So here’s me committing to try a little harder. To start that knitting project I’ve been putting off and to read those books I have stacked by my bedside. Let’s make this year’s hibernation a good one. The March thaw will be here soon enough!

{Image Credits: Turtleneck | Wrangell – St. Elias National Park | Escape Canvas Utility Bag | Cozy Bedroom | Paris}


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2015 // Let’s Do This

New Years Resolutions

I’m not one to go all in on resolutions come January 1 — I’m not particularly reliable about sticking to them and I usually just figure there are things I should be changing and working toward and updating throughout the year, not just in January. But I can’t help but put a few to paper this year. A few little things that maybe if I write them down here, I’ll actually do.

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What To Wear For New Years Eve

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As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, this year’s New Years Eve isn’t about some fancy, glittery, too-tight, too-short dress. This year’s New Years Eve is about a dash of sparkle and plenty of comfort. And a cozy sweater, booties, and a GREAT statement coat (aka this one) are sounding pretty good right about now.

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Reflecting on 2014…

New Years Eve Graphic

Ok ok ok, so I really did need that little mini blog break. Between my birthday in mid-December, Christmas shopping, traveling, hosting, and everything in between, AND the amazing experience of getting ENGAGED last Sunday, it’s been a whirlwind — one that just didn’t involve time for blogging.

But I was brainstorming 2015-focused content for work yesterday, and it got me thinking about 2014 and everything that has come with it.

Eric and I are celebrating New Years Eve with 20+ of our very best friends, and I could not be more excited and thankful for everything we have to celebrate.

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DIY Holiday | Handmade Holiday Cards

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This is the first year that I’ve sent more than the usual harried five or six holiday cards. And somewhere along the line, I got it into my head that I wanted to make them myself. An unnecessarily meandering trip to Michaels later (ok, make that two trips to Michaels), and I was armed and ready. Now, I don’t expect you to go all in on DIY holiday cards necessarily, but I AM here to tell you that they were really easy to create, cheaper than the $15 for a four-pack options I was finding at my favorite card haunts, and they were actually a lot of fun — probably because there was glitter involved.

So if you’re feeling inspired to follow suit, here’s what you’ll need:

1 set ABCs stamps
1 gold ink stamp pad
1 bottle fine gold glitter
1 bottle gold acrylic paint
various paintbrushes
1-2 packs blank cards + envelopes
1 roll pretty crafting tape
1 black Sharpee
1 black metallic gel pen

For these cards, I simply stamped out the messages in gold, and then used a flat paintbrush to create abstract strokes of gold paint along the bottoms or edges. Immediately after applying the paint, I sprinkled gold glitter over it and carefully tapped the excess onto a disposable plate. Allow the cards to dry for an hour (or overnight) just as a precaution, and then you’re ready to personalize.

Note: I originally purchased brown paper cards + envelopes, but found that the gold was too similar to the brown in color. I ultimately wound up using off-white cards, black metallic gel pen for messages, brown envelopes, and a black Sharpee for addressing.

Finish with a stamp and seal with crafting tape, and you’re ready to mail!

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Gifts That Give Back | Global Goods Partners (2 of 2)

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Another day, another lineup of gorgeous, gift-able Global Goods Partners pieces. For this second look featuring the hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind pieces from Global Goods Partners, I wanted to let keep everything nice and simple. What better than black on black to showcase a perfectly wacky neon satchel purse and delicate, hammered brass earrings?

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Gifts That Give Back | Global Goods Partners (1 of 2)

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Everyone has giving back on their minds this time of year, but, let’s be real, sometimes those socially conscious gifts tend to fall by the wayside in favor of a good sale price. BUT when the gift-able options are as lovely and well-crafted and affordable as the ones I’m sharing in today’s post, then it truly is a no-brainer.

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ThirdLove | These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

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I’m not sure what it is, but there’s something I kind of love about getting to wear a really pretty bra under an oversized sweater. No one knows, but you get to feel extra girly all day while you go about your over-bundled business of running errands and last-minute holiday gift buying. My new favorite for this ultimate pair-up? ThirdLove.

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Recipe | St. Lucia Buns (Swedish Saffron Christmas Buns)

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Ok, so this recipe might seem totally random. See, my birthday is this Saturday, the 13th, and for the longest time I’ve wanted to try making Saint Lucia buns. Saint Lucia Day is a Swedish holiday that occurs on the 13th of December every year, and according to my sleuthing, is a celebration of hope and light in the long, dark Swedish winters. When I was little, my mom told me about Saint Lucia and how it coincided with my birthday, and it has always held a weird little place in my memory — even though I’m pretty sure I have little to no Swedish blood.

SO, I’ve been wanting to try making these gorgeous little buns for a while now, and this is me finally getting around to it — actually in advance of my birthday, which is a first for the serial procrastinator. They’re a bit of work, but for a yeasted recipe, they’re actually pretty straightforward, and they’re a total showstopper as far as presentation.

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