Peace out, 2014!

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CHEERS!! 2014 was a good one, maybe even the greatest yet.

Strawberry Mint Bourbon Smash

I started out the year 3 months pregnant and said goodbye to snowy Michigan and hello to rainy Oregon. We drove a lot of miles, crammed ourselves into a sleek and tiny light-filled apartment in a great Portland neighborhood and settled in. Less than six months later, we house hunted and moved into our first home. Exactly a week after we moved into the house, our son Casper Hart, was born. It was an insanely wonderful first half to a year. Then, we got to work settling into our home with our boy. We fell crazy in love with our tiny human, slept little, and nested a lot. The second half was equally crazy and amazing.

Portland “snow” in our backyard. 

Through it all we ate a ton of amazing food, visited with our families, and explored our new city. I also blogged and worked on freelance projects. Some for my girl Betty and a few others. It was fun and exciting and stressful. I found the light in 2 new spaces (the second of which I’m still figuring out) and tried to simplify my whole process. I was both happy with and frustrated with my work–it made me realize I want to work better and be better. I hosted some guest posts from bloggers I love and admire. I cannot give enough thanks to Nicole, Amy, Sarah, Erika, and Megan for taking care of my space while I took some time to birth a human and learn how to mom.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

I made a lot of new favorite recipes this year and some of them were your favorites, too. One of those things I didn’t make, but my talented blogger friend did. Unsurprisingly, they were all treats and a lot of them were the frozen variety, some had booze, some were cakes, and there was also a pie and cookie that won your hearts and stomachs.

Double Berry Swirl Amaretti Ice Cream

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

4-Ingredient Strawberry Cream Pops

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pops

Ginger Bourbon Cider

Strawberry Mint Bourbon Smash

The Sugar Hit’s Blackberry Jam Donut Bundt Cake

Fold-Over Rhuberry Pie

Hazelnut Crunch Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Chocolate Malted Oatmeal Cookies with Hazelnuts and Sea Salt

And, my number one, tip-top, favorite of all time-ever, was this guy. I know, I know…this is who I am now!

Don’t punch me.

In the new year I hope to continue to simplify my blogging/working process and put myself out there more regarding blogging and opportunities related to this space. I want to define my aesthetic more and hone my photography. I want to work on my writing and make it more meaningful when I can without it becoming too serious. I would also like to include more life stuff, maybe some mom stuff, but I’m still trying to figure out how to include it in a sensible way. Becoming a mom has changed me in so many amazing ways and I just want to figure out how to share some of that here.

Anyway, peace out 2014! You were an amazing gem and gave me so much more than I could have hoped for or even imagined. Wishing all of you all of the health and happiness in the lands for 2015. Cheers!!!

 

 

 

13 from 2013

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Guys, we have finally finished packing.

HUGE SIGH!

Most of our belongings are now Tetris’d into an 6’3″D x 7’W x 8’4″ storage cube that will be shipped to our new, little apartment in Portland…not only am I excited that we are moving to a new and exciting city, I’m SO HAPPY that we are done packing, because let’s be real…it’s stressful.

So, now that all of that craziness is over, I can take a beat and share my 13 favorite foodstuffs from 2013.

Yay, food!

1. Coconut + Chocolate Chip Cream Scones 2. Orange Chocolate Chip Pancakes

3. Maple Brown Derby Ice Pops 4. Honeydew Mint Ice Pops 

5. Oatmeal Brownies (wheat-free!) 6. Apricot Almond Crunch Frozen Yogurt

7. Lady Picnic co-hosted with my girl, Take A Megabite

8. Asian Slaw Steak Salad 9. Blackberry Ginger Smash

10. Chocolate Dipped Coconut + Rum Popsicles 11. Chicken and Waffle Melts

12. Pumpkin Brown Butter Malt Mini Donuts

13. Nutty Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

That’s it! It was pretty dang difficult to choose just 13 favorite bites from 2013, but I managed to do it…tough life, I know. Even though I am still on a cooking hiatus for the next week or so, I am so excited to get to cooking in 2014 in a brand new space and to see what Oregon does to inspire my recipes.

Cheers to all good things this 2014!!

Links for a Better Monday

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That mani up there may go on record as my favorite I’ve done ever. I left the base completely naked and used some washi tape triangles I cut out as a stencil. Then I painted on a few coats of Julep’s Coco over the top and a layer of shiny top coat.  I love a cream polish and I always love a deep oxblood throughout the cooler months–it’s my favorite nail color of the season, hands down (pun always intended)!

Anyway, let’s talk food links! Erika made these Smoked Gouda and Chive Buttermilk Biscuits and I have been thinking biscuits ever since…not that it takes me much to think about biscuits. I loooove em.

These Skillet Baked Pulled Pork and Broccoli Rabe Stuffed Shells look like a platter of saucy, carb comfort…I mean, there’s pulled pork in there!

I’m thinking of making this Sausage and Pear Stuffing for Thanksgiving and adding caramelized fennel b/c I am obsessed with it…which will just be for Sean and me. We plan on seeing Catching Fire that day so we have something to do and not feel like total disconnected loners and we will need to eat before…cause movie theater popcorn does not equal Thanksgiving.

Since we probably won’t only be eating stuffing for Thanksgiving, I am on the hunt for recipes that taste of the usual spread but don’t require me to aquire and roast a whole turkey-bird. These Turkey Spinach and Feta Meatballs with Cranberry Greek Yogurt Sauce from Okie Dokie Artichokie are looking kind of perfect.

These Brussels Sprouts Latkes from Molly are just singing my song…I live for crispy edged brussels and I just know these have to deliver all kinds of goodness.

I, admittedly, kinda sorta loathe matcha…but these Chocolate Matcha Fondants from Sarah are just too pretty too resist. I may have to revisit the whole matcha sitch.

These Chocolate Cream Pie Brownies from Handle the Heat basically made my brain explode. I just can’t even deal.

I love most versions of Chicken Tortilla Soup and this one from Brittany is lookin’ real good.

I can’t say I’ve ever had SPAM but these Totoro Musibi are just so stankin’ cute! We love Totoro in this house, so I just couldn’t resist sharing.

This little piece about What Your Favorite Apple Says About You is pretty funny…I mean, it’s pretty spot on with the Red Delicious assesment…who are these people?! I, personally, love Honeycrisps (I’ve seriously eaten my weight in them this season), so maybe that’s why I like it.

I have a lust to have a home with some sort of library situation someday…a girl’s gotta dream…and this landing library is just so perfect.

Speaking of libraries, this former public library turned home is just so rad I can’t even handle it. I mean, the library ladder in the kitchen, the cabinets, the dining area lighting, the beams, and that desk chair. UGH.

I am also obsessed with cozy nooks for sleeping in and this one includes one of my other sleep-obsessions, a wall-to-wall bed. Also, it’s right up next to that window which I imagine would make it a little chilly and I love a slightly chilly sleeping situation so I can just shroud myself in a nest of blankets and pillows. DREAMY!