Spring 2019 Checklist

It’s amazing that at 29 years old, I’m still surprised every spring when the cold, gray days subside and I start to feel AMAZINGLY better on a daily basis. My mood is more stable and uplifted, it’s easier to get up every (most) mornings, and I just feel better. Better about life. Better about situations that are less-than perfect. Better about pretty much everything. Even if you don’t have seasonal depression, the winter blues are very real and it’s amazing what sitting at home with the windows open or taking a walk can do for you.

I don’t really want to set any monthly goals or anything like that, but more these seasonal intentions where I just give myself a list of things to keep in mind for the season.

Bake more: I wrote about this in a recent post, but getting back into baking was such a struggle for me for a little bit. But I think I’ve gotten myself over that hump and am feelin’ inspired y’all! I got a list of recipes I want to test and perfect, I got a new camera so I’m excited to shoot those recipes and I’m stoked to just get this little piece of the interweb going again. It gives me lifeeeee.

Plant herbs on the deck: As much as I want to grow tomatoes and peppers on the deck, I’m disappointed every year because the squirrels and cats eat everything off of them. This year I’m just going to stick to potted herbs and see how that goes. Definitely not as exciting as veggies, but I’m still looking forward to it!

Spend more time out and about in the city: I LOVE spending my Saturdays bouncing around the city with my friends on foot, eating cheap snacks, shopping, and people watching. It’s honestly one of my favorite things to do during the warmer months and I’m stoked to get that going again. Horchata latte in hand, converse sneaks on my feet.

Continue cooking more: For once in my life, I feel like I’m improving in my cooking ability. It’s finally fun to cook and I don’t feel so scared of messing up. I’m hoping this isn’t just a phase and I can keep up cooking at home a couple nights a week!

Deal with my adult things: This one is super boring. I have a list of adult things that need to be taken care of and I keep putting off. I need to get those things done. Being an adult is hard sometimes.

Buy myself more flowers: you know, just because

Work on a reoccurring Philly ice cream post: This is something my friend Kate and I have been talking about for YEARS and I want to hammer it out this spring. Just a reoccurring feature highlighting some of the city’s best ice cream places.

Recipe: Carrot Cake Donuts

Here's the thing: jetlag is a killer.

Anyone who follows me over on Instagram knows that G and I spent the end of February/beginning of March in Kathmandu, Nepal for a wedding/vacation. This is by far the furthest from home I've ever been and I knew jetlag would be an issue coming home. We planned to land home on a Friday afternoon so we would have a full weekend to sleep and get back up to speed. By I severely underestimated this jetlag. After an initial weekend of sleeping, we spent all of last week going to work and sleeping. By the end of the week I found myself on a wonderful schedule where I would fall asleep at 8 pm and wake up at 4am ready to go for the day. 🙄

Saturday was the first day I started to feel like a normally functioning human being and I made you these Carrot Cake Donuts in celebration. Happy first week of spring!

Carrot Cake Donuts

Yields 18 donuts

For Donuts:
2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 stick butter, cold and cut into cubes
2 eggs
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrot
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
rainbow sprinkles
toasted coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a donut baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Make your donuts: In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg to combine and aerate the flours. Add the cubes of butter and using a pastry blender (or your hands), cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly and sand-like. You'll want tiny pieces of butter throughout the mixture.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until fluffy. Add in yogurt and vanilla and whisk until combined. Pour the mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and fold together with a rubber spatula. Once dough comes together, fold in grated carrot and walnuts and mix until combined.

Scrape the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large tip (or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off) and pipe the batter evenly among the wells of the greased pan. Before placing into the oven, lightly tap the donut pan on a flat countertop to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then let cool completely on a cooling rack.

Make your frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together softened butter and cream cheese. Slowly add in powdered sugar and vanilla extract until all is combined. If your frosting needs to be softer, add in milk one tablespoon at a time until you have your desired consistency. Using an off-set spatula, frost your donuts and top with toasted coconut or rainbow sprinkles.

Keep donuts in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Spring Bucket List

petit jardin en ville in old city philadelphia

It's spring folks! And I'm pretty damn happy about it. Things are feeling fresh and new, the city is sunny and people are out and about, my work is in full bloom and very green, it's just a nice time before it turns into Hades. 

The theme this season is cleaning, organizing, and making the house more enjoyable. I love our home, but winter has a way of making papers pile up and clutter just sitting around waiting to be put away. I want to take the next couple of months and really get that in order, along with trying to take more weekend and day trips to spend time outside and together. So here we go!

  1. Hang art in extra bedroom
  2. Take more weekend and day trips
  3. Make headway with the side hustle
  4. Plant herbs in pots out back
  5. Work on ice cream blog post
  6. Buy flowers more often
  7. Cook dinner at home more often
  8. Take bags of clothes to thrift store

Planning for Spring: House Edition

Unfortunately I don't have any cool recipes or DIYs to share this week. Whomp whomp. Some days recipes turn out right after a try or two, and some days you just work on a cocktail recipe for 3 hours and can't get it right, i.e. last Saturday. So we're switching gears and talking about the house.

This weekend's weather (almost 60degrees!!) got me all ready to ditch my winter coat and plan for Spring. I'm excited for nice weather in the city and enjoying my house and backyard space. I moved in July of last year, and I was overwhelmed (to say the least) and it was extremely hot and humid (to say the least, again) so I have all the hype for Spring. I thought I'd throw together a little list of some of the goals I have for the house in the upcoming months...

  • Stain kitchen pantry and shelves.
  • Paint bed frame in extra bedroom.
  • Buy large plant for corner in living room.
  • Finish backyard area, i.e. put together outdoor loveseat, hang lights, figure out a higher fence situation, get outdoor rug, fill backyard with plants (that I'll ultimately kill, preemptive sorry to those plants).

Spring Wishlist

Not buying things is a real challenge for me. I see things I want, I think about them, the idea of them shakes around in my brain for a few days, and then I usually pull the trigger. But as I pull my clothes for the warmer months out from under my bed, I've realized I do have a lot of "new" things and I'm making a real attempt at not buying anything new for a little while. Spring is a fun time though. Jackets somedays, bare legs other days. I'm dreaming of a new bathing suit. And I've been itching for a new clutch bag... Trying to stay strong and just admire these things from a far. 

1. TOPSHOP Nelly Strappy Sandals, 2. Floral Clutch, 3. TOPSHOP Frayed Hem Tank, 4. Jawbreaking Cute AF Crop Top, 5. TOPSHOP Faux Leather Biker Jacket, 6. ModCloth Rays Me Up Sunglasses, 7. Free People Brami, 8. NARS Satin Lip Pencils in Yu and Timanfaya, 9. Swedish Hasbeens Braided High, 10. Skinny Dip Lip Clutch, 11. ModCloth Curry Your Enthusiasm Skirt, and 12. ModCloth New Leisure on Life Bikini.