5 Things I'm Loving Right Now (+ A Life Update)

I could start this post with an apology for being absent over the past year, or the details of what went on, but I don’t really want to dwell on all that. I’ll just say that working at a job that’s a bad fit, one that sucks all of your creative energy and constantly causes you stress and anxiety, is not a way to live your life (or at least for me). It took me a while to realize this; I felt very much like a failure and harbored guilt of misguiding my own life. Now that I’m on the other side of it, I know that it’s all apart of my journey and has made me even stronger and more confident (but it’s hard to see that when you’re in the middle of it, ya know?).

With that all behind me, I’ve been back in the kitchen. It’s been recipe testing a few things that are almost there. Plus, I’m pricing out cameras so I can bring you new delicious and beautiful recipes (I’m pretty stoked about this one 📷).

But even with everything in order, it’s still been hard for me to bounce back into blogging. I feel like I’ve lost some of the spark that this blog once had, and I’m at a loss for how to get that back. But I wanted to touch base regardless and let you know that I’m figuring it out. Because we’re friends and you deserve that. And because I want to hold myself accountable for actually showing up and creating something that I’m proud of, something that reflects what I’m into at this moment.

So that’s where I’m at this Monday. Tea in hand, snugged up under the heated blanket on my couch. I thought I would start all this with something easy, something fun. Here’s a few things I’ve been loving lately.

Reading: So, adding “reading” to a list of favorite things probably sounds bizarre but I haven’t been able to focus on reading an entire book in years (and unfortunately, that not even an exaggeration). Since kicking off 2019 with more free time, I’ve been making it a prioritize to read. So far, I’ve finished Abbi Jacobson’s I Might Regret This, This Will Only Hurt A Little by Busy Phillips, My Friend Dahmer, and I’m currently working on An Edited Life by Anna Newton (who’s maybe my fav beauty/lifestyle blogger). Hopefully more book recs to come!

New jeans: After searching and searching for the perfect dupes for Everlane jeans, I finally broke down and purchased a pair of the Kick Crop Jeans when they were on sale and I’m never looking back. They’re the perfect shape for me, feel high-quality enough but still comfortable. I have 2 pairs of them and it’s hard for me to not wear them every single day. Definitely worth the money and I get a ton of compliments when I wear them.

Thrifting: Thrifting is something I have always gone through stages of, and for the past few months or so I’ve been loving it. Living in a major city, most thrift stores here are pretty picked through or overpriced, so my girlfriend and I usually make a day out of driving to the suburbs, hitting some thrift stores and other stores that are annoyingly busy to visit in the city (Trader Joe’s) and it’s become something I look forward to immensely. Plus, as someone who loves a little bit of retail therapy, it’s helping me not burn all my money on clothes.

New bras! I recently purchased a slew of the same bras (which really shows you how much I love them) from Aerie of all places. Now, to purchase these in person in Philly you need to hit the American Eagle in Center City, which if you’re anything like me makes you feel incredibly old and is a store definitely run by children. BUT these Chill Cotton Bralettes are exactly what I was looking for. Simple, decent support and a great price for the quality.

Being Home: I’m currently having a love affair with being home. I’ve been staying in on the weekend, cleaning and purging our home, and just feeling incredibly content with spending my nights melting into the couch. We’ve been cooking a lot and (I think) getting better at it! Painting our downstairs was one of the best decisions we’ve made and when the light streams in, I just look around and can’t help but feel happy and content. We still have more work to do, more plants to buy, we need a new bed and mattress, but all in all this house feels like home and I’m into it big time.

Wishing you an easy Monday!

Cocktail: Blood Orange Mule

Can we just forget about last year? Ok great. Thank you!

All in all, last year sucked. Like really sucked. The kind of sucked where you can’t do anything but buckle down, try and get as much done as you can, and try your hardest to enjoy the little moments of peace and stress-free calm you have. So that doesn’t leave a lot of time for personal growth or baking (let alone styling, photographing + writing blog posts). I’m trying to inch back into it. Little by little until this piece of the internet fits back into my life.

In the meantime, I’ve brought you booze. This is valentine’s day week (which doesn’t really mean that much to me, tbh) so I wanted to throw together a simple, fruity and delicious cocktail perfect for a valentine’s day dinner at home. Because who’s really got time for overly crowded restaurants and prix fixe menus.

Welcome back to my little corner of the internet. I hope we get to spend a little more time together this year.

Blood Orange Mule

Makes one drink

  • 2 oz vodka

  • 2 oz fresh-squeezed blood orange juice

  • 1-2 oz ginger beer

  • squeeze of lime juice

  • gummy candies for garnish

In a glass with ice, add vodka and blood orange juice. Stir and top with ginger beer and a squeeze of lime juice.

Recipe: Pear & Goat Cheese Galette

It’s Thanksgiving week, babies! My favorite time of year.

More than ever I’m looking forward to a break from work, taking the long drive to see family, and eating a ton of food. And I know that pumpkin and apple pie tend to be the go-tos this time of year, but this Pear and Goat Cheese Galette is 1. damn delicious, 2. way easier than a pie, and 3. so addicting that I ate this entire thing in an afternoon. Plus, I always like something that’s a little different.

Another note, this could easily be served as an appetizer or a dessert. It’s not overly sweet and the goat cheese brings a slightly savory component that’s delicious any time you want to slice it.

Pear & Goat Cheese Galette

Yields 8 slices

  • 1 refrigerated pie crust

  • 2-3 pears, thinly sliced

  • 4 oz goat cheese

  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, well chopped

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1-2 teaspoons honey

  • half a lemon

  • 2 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into small cubes

  • 1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.

Thinly slice pears and place in a bowl. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over them, add chopped rosemary, and lightly toss. The lemon juice will keep the pears from browning. Set aside.

Unroll your pie crust on the baking sheet and begin arranging your pear slices in the center, leaving a 1 inch border around the sides. Fold the border over to create the crust and trap in any juices. Sprinkle the top with sugar, and arrange the butter cubes on the top of the galette. Brush the beaten egg on the crust to get a golden brown when baked.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until the pears are just cooked and the crust is golden brown. Let cool slightly and drizzle with honey. Enjoy warm or cold.

Recipe: Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Drizzle

It’s starting to feel really cozy in Philadelphia these days. I can tell because not only is it chilly out, but I’m making and craving soups, drinking bold (+ sometimes funky) wines at night, and spending most of my days underneath our heated blanket wondering how I lived life without a heated blanket. PLUS I’m bringing you back-to-back pumpkin recipes because it’s the best time of year (baking-wise).

Recently I’ve found myself revisiting some of my favorite recipes, making an Apple Crisp the last weekend, as well as my favorite I’m-spending-Friday-night-in cookies: Funfetti Cookies. But I didn’t want my favorite baking season to fly by without another pumpkin recipe. I don’t usually share a recipe that I found someplace else, but this Pumpkin Bread recipe is just too good not to share. You can find it below, or on the Bon Appetit website.

Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Drizzle

Adapted from this recipe

Pumpkin Bread

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 2 tsp. kosher salt

  • 1 tsp. baking powder

  • ½ tsp. baking soda

  • ½ tsp. grated nutmeg

  • ⅛ tsp. ground cloves

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 15-oz. can pumpkin purée

  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp finely grated ginger (from about one 3" piece fresh ginger)

  • 1½ cups plus 1 Tbsp. sugar

  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Cream Cheese Drizzle

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened

  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2-3 tablespoons milk

Make your bread: Preheat oven to 325°. Lightly coat a 9x5" loaf pan with nonstick spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment, leaving a generous overhang on both long sides.

Whisk flour, cinnamon, kosher salt, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and cloves in a medium bowl.

Whisk eggs, pumpkin purée, ginger, and 1½ cups sugar in a large bowl. Stream in oil, whisking constantly until mixture is homogeneous. Gently fold half of dry ingredients into egg mixture until no dry spots remain. Repeat with remaining dry ingredients, stirring to combine but being careful not to overmix.

Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top with a spatula. Bake bread, rotating pan once halfway through, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, for me, this took more like 90mins to 2 hours to cook thoroughly (even though you can tell from the photos that I could have left it in a few minutes longer…)

Let cool slightly. Using overhang, transfer bread to a wire rack and let cool.

While your bread cools, make your drizzle. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla. Mix in powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons on milk. Add more milk until glaze is slightly pourable. Once bread has cooled, drizzle the glaze over the cake and serve.

Bread can be kept for several days. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap. A note, I know this bread looks a little undercooked in my photos. In our house, we lean for towards undercooked than overcooked. The cooking time in the recipe leaves room for your perfect doneness.

pumpkin cake 4.jpg

Recipe: Pumpkin Monster Cookies

What do you do when you make a batch of D E L I C I O U S L Y pumpkin cookies but they are looking a little boring and lackluster? Throw candy eyes on them and make them Halloween cookies! These cookies are simple to throw together and honestly I can’t stop laughing at how silly they came out. Perfect to throw into a treat bag for your loved ones on Halloween, or for you to eat the entire batch while giving out candy to trick or treaters. I’m not here to judge.

MORE ABOUT THESE COOKIES…These cookies are pillowy pumpkin goodness inside with just the right about of cinnamon and a little extra salt to get the flavors going. Originally, I thought of topping these pumpkin babies with cream cheese buttercream, but after tasting how wonderfully soft they were, I ended up doing an easy, breezy cinnamon drizzle. But try them with a little cream cheese glaze and let me know how it thrills you!

Happy Halloween 🎃

Pumpkin Monster Cookies

Yields 3 dozen

Adapted from this recipe

Pumpkin Cookies

  • 1 cup salted butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 1 large egg, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin

  • 2 cups AP flour

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Cinnamon Drizzle

  • 1 cup powdered sugar (plus more if needed for thickness)

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 2 tablespoon milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • pinch of salt

  • Candy eyes (optional, but recommended)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add in vanilla extract and egg. Add in pumpkin and mix well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Add this to the wet ingredients in 3 batches, but careful not to over mix. Fold in walnuts by hand. Place dough in the fridge for 5 minutes to harden slightly.

Drop rounded tablespoons on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. This is a very soft dough so do not try to roll this into balls in your hand. Place tablespoon-sized dough babies onto the baking sheet and shape slightly with your fingers to make them rounded. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly golden on the bottom. Remove from the oven and let cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to cool rack to cool completely.

While your cookies are cooling, whisk together all the ingredients for the cinnamon glaze. Using a spoon, drizzle the glaze over the cookies and stick on candy eyes. Because these are soft cookies, they need to be eaten within a day or two. Make sure they are completely cool before storing them in an airtight container or they will sweat out their moisture.

Hot tip: you need to place the eyes when the glaze is still setting. If you miss that timeframe, mix a little powdered sugar with milk to get a paste and glue each one on.