Friday, February 28, 2014

February Photo Project: Sweet

This month's photo theme was sweet, and I loved the images you sent. My photo is a yummy cup of hot chocolate I had when my parents visited us. Here's what you shared:

Sabrina from Italy sent a photo of her twist brioche with plum jam. It looks delicious!

Daina snapped a pic at Doughnut Plant, one of my personal favorites!

Allison shared a picture she took while spending some quality time with her husband on a hike that turned her whole day around.

Sally sent a photo of these gorgeous sweets from Paris.

If you want to share one of your sweet photos, just leave a link below! I'll announce March's theme next week. As always, thanks for sharing!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

When you have a bunch of overly ripe bananas sitting on the kitchen counter, it's an unspoken rule that you have to make banana bread, right? I like the texture the oats bring to this version, and the chocolate chips serve their purpose deliciously.

Chocolate Chip and Oat Banana Bread
Recipe adapted from

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed bananas
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt. In a large bowl, beat the egg lightly. Stir in the milk, oil, and vanilla. Add the mashed banana, and combine thoroughly. Stir the flour mixture into the banana mixture until just combined. Add chocolate chips. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and divide the batter among them. I halved this recipe and filled two 5.5x3 mini loaf pans. Bake at 400 degrees F for 18 to 24 minutes.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

In the White Room

As we start the purging and packing process before our move, I'm imagining what I want our next place to look like, and I keep thinking about white bedding -- simple and clean with a contrasting blanket over the end of the bed. There's something so inviting about it. What do you think?

[images found here: 1, 2, 3, 4]

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I Bought It, I Like It: Ankle Boots

I bought these Madewell ankle boots in the fall and meant to tell you how much I liked them, but then the snow boot-wearing started and didn't stop. Thanks to our warmer weather over the weekend, I got to bust them out again, so here you are. I searched high and low for ankle boots (thanks for all the free shipping and returns, Zappos!) and nothing was working. Every pair I tried had too large an opening around the ankle or the heels were too high or they were made from cheap leather, so I finally decided to invest in this pair from Madewell, and I'm glad I did. They're classic, comfortable, come in the loveliest shade of brown called pecan and are perfect for transitioning out of this cold weather.

This series highlights items I've purchased with my own money that I think you would like too.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Weekend in Photos

It was a gorgeous weekend! 50 degrees felt like spring thanks to the weather we've had, so we spent most of our time outside enjoying it. We had an early dinner and a slice of sour cherry pie at Bubby's followed by a walk around Tribeca as the sun set. We vegged out, watched the Olympics and I made banana bread -- it was the stuff great weekends are made of. Hope yours was just as pleasant!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Thoughts of the Week

I'm so impressed by this closet turned office.

Savory French toast. Say whaaaa?

I've had it with the snow boots, I'm ready to wear flats again.

When visiting the woods, one should always take a thermos and wear plaid.

This poster would make a birthday extra happy.

My new favorite necklace.

I'd like to start my Saturday morning with this coffee cake.

And please send your sweet photos my way.

Thank you so much for all the sweet comments and encouragement yesterday! Y'all really are the best. I hope you'll stick around for "our new era." Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

We're Moving to Texas!

Announcement time: After months and months of pondering and praying and planning, we've decided to move to Austin, Texas! It just seems like the time in our lives for something completely different. As people keep saying to us, it's like the start of a new era. We visited Austin twice last year, and while we still have a lot of exploring to do, it began winning us over with its delicious food, beautiful nature, quirky charm, music scene and laid-back vibe.

Jonah and I will always love New York City, and I'm certain we'll miss things about it and our friends that live here, but we've started to crave more traditional things like a house and a yard and a dog and kids -- or even just a second bedroom -- and while those things aren't impossible in New York, they're certainly more complicated. So we stepped out and made a decision and things just started falling into place. God has blessed us every step of the way, and we're excited for the new adventure. We're leaving New York in less than a month. Austin, here we come! Hit it, Lyle!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Date Night: Mixology Class

Jonah and I had yet another date with HowAboutWe, a company with the goal of helping people fall in love and stay in love, and we chose a mixology class! Since we've made dumplings, heard Ira Glass talk and gone indoor skydiving, it seemed like a celebratory drink was in order, and the class turned out to be the perfect blend of fun and learning. You can sign up for free to browse HowAboutWe's date options, and as a bonus, use this link to get $50 off your first date! (New members only, offer expires May 31, 2014.)

The mixology class was sponsored by Tanqueray, so we learned all about the history of gin and the delicious cocktails you can make with it. For someone who has always thought that gin tastes like pine trees, I discovered I actually like a drink with gin when it's done right.

Two entertaining and knowledgeable bartenders talked us through the cocktail-making at The Royalton Hotel in midtown Manhattan, which has a great bar and huge lounge of a lobby if you're ever looking for a place to grab a drink. Jonah loved hearing about the history and science of gin, and I loved the plate of truffles and chocolate-covered strawberries we got to snack on. We each made a French 75 and an Aviation, and they were both delicious! It was a perfect way to spend a cold Saturday afternoon.

Here's the recipe for an Aviation, a gorgeous and tasty cocktail, if you're interested.

The Aviation

2 oz. gin
1/4 oz. maraschino liqueur, such as Luxardo
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz. creme de violette

Pour the gin, maraschino liqueur and lemon juice into a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice. Shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Drizzle creme de violette into glass. Garnish with lemon peel.

For our next date, I'm eyeing a movie night, this urban foraging outing and this glassblowing class. Interested in HowAboutWe? Sign up for free to browse their date options and be sure to use this link to get $50 off your first date!

Our date and this post were made possible by HowAboutWe.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Weekend in Photos

We had such a great long weekend with my parents! We ate our traditional big, fancy meal -- this time at The Modern, which was fantastic. The rest of our time was filled with pizza, pasta, Valentine's cookies, cocktails, late night Olympics-watching, a Broadway show (Walter White!) and the usual laughter and quality time. It was nice to spend a cold, snowy weekend with these gems.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Have a Sweet Weekend

Happy Valentine's Day! Despite all the bad winter weather, my parents made it to New York yesterday safe and sound. We'll be enjoying our time together while carefully navigating mounds of snow and slush puddles. Hope you have a wonderful, candy-filled weekend!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Washi Tape Matchbooks for Your Valentine

Washi tape and my crafting abilities seem to suit each other perfectly. It doesn't get much easier than this, but I think the results are still pretty cute. Just take some new or old matchbooks and cover them in washi tape in whatever colors and patterns appeal to you. (Etsy shop PrettyTape has a great selection.) Trim and smooth the edges and attach a little note with a pun that's worthy of your valentine. "Come on, baby, light my fire" is still up for grabs.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Chocolate Mocha-Glazed Mini Bundt Cakes

There's nothing like an individual-size dessert to make someone feel special. "You made this tiny cake just for me?" "Yes, and five others for myself." You don't have to say that last part out loud. These little cakes are light and chocolatey, and the mocha glaze makes them even better. And since Valentine's Day is just around the corner, go ahead and put a heart on it.

Mini Chocolate Bundt Cakes
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sour cream (2 ounces)
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a mini bundt cake pan. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Mix milk and sour cream in a small bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low, and add flour mixture, alternating with milk mixture, ending with flour. Spoon batter into pan evenly. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Invert and continue to cool. Makes 6 mini cakes.

Mocha Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons strong coffee, warm

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Immediately drizzle over cakes and top with sprinkles or mini chocolate chips.


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