Happy Weekend!

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{image & recipe via}


Anyone have fun plans this weekend?? Christa is still in Denver shredding the gnar with her mom & bro, and Reg will be relaxing in Boston while she wraps up her most recent read The Girl on The Train. Things have been pretty low-key these days, and we’re not complaining! Have a beautiful weekend, lovies!


cct // I sort of dig this opinion piece – Turning 30 in Bushwick

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cct // Adorable celeb video, What do you wish you could tell your 10-year-old self?

rkv // On making new friends

cct /2017 Best Restaurants: Experts’ Picks (Connecticut Magazine)

rkv // 19 basic cooking techniques you need to learn to not look like a beginner

cct // Hmm…but I like flower crowns and food trucks…14 Wedding Trends to Avoid in 2017: Flower Crowns, Food Trucks, and More

rkv // Using Evernote to organize your life


 

Pecan Pumpkin Muffins

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One of the first homemade goods I remember my Mom making me as a kid was pumpkin bread. I always looked forward to her whipping it up, and it became one of the first things I learned how to bake once I was old enough. Call me basic all you want, but I’ve been loving myself some pumpkin spice since 1993, okay??

While this recipe isn’t my Mom’s (I don’t know if that woman has ever made the same thing twice), it’s still wonderful and always reminds me of home.

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FOR THE MUFFINS
1 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, unpacked
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin (not pumpkin-pie filling)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped

FOR THE STREUSEL
2 tbsp butter, room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar, unpacked
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup quick oats

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TO MAKE
Preheat
oven to 350. To begin the muffin batter, use a stand mixer (or large bowl with a hand mixer) to combine the canned pumpkin, white & brown sugars, and vanilla. Blend until thoroughly combined. Add one egg, mix, add second egg, mix, then slowly add in the oil.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Slowly add the dry mixture into the pumpkin blend until just combined. Fold in the pecans and set aside.

To make the streusel, mix the butter and sugar together. Once combined, slowly add in the flour and oats. The mixture will be crumbly, but not completely dry. It should be a pale brown, and you don’t want to see the white of the flour.

Using two spoons, scoop the pumpkin batter into a lined or greased muffin pan. It should make 12 medium-sized muffins. Sprinkle the streusel onto the muffins until the tops are just covered.

Bake for 24-26 minutes. Poke the center of a muffin with a knife or toothpick to check if done. If the knife or toothpick come out clean, you’re ready to take out of the oven.

Set aside for 15 minutes, then enjoy with a piping hot cup of coffee.


Recipe adapted from Skinny Taste

Five Ways to Make Your New Place Feel Like Home

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{image via}

As we’ve been mentioning, Christa and Curtis just moved into a new place, and Reg and her roomies will be relocating at the beginning of June. There are some seriously exciting and NOT exciting parts of moving, but the biggest challenge will be making your new place feel like home. To help, we’ve gathered some tips that will definitely be useful in our nesting process.

 

01. Get cookin’

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Before we get started here — how good does this look?? This will be made on our end in the very near future (find the link below!). Ok now, back to business.

One thing that’s sure to make your place feel like your own is to get that kitchen fired up. It may be the furthest thing from your mind when your stuff is all a jumble, but eating take-out for two weeks straight is not going to help your well-being, or your wallet. Once you’re done with your move, start unpacking that kitchen pronto. You don’t have to make beef burgundy or anything, just a simple 20-minute-meal will do. It’ll help you get a sense of the new storage, so you can make things more efficient over time. You can also get a sense of what your new place is missing, so you can get a list going of what to pick up next time you’re home shopping.

 

02. Figuring out the right fit for your furniture

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When Curtis and I moved into our new place we couldn’t wait to see all of our beloved furniture in the open space – we wanted to change the positioning and order of our living room, try new pictures on the wall, reinvent our rooms. And what happened was just that. BUT not exactly on our terms. Our living room is oddly shaped, and we can’t use most of the furniture we originally had in there. At first I was bummed and was trying really hard to fit these pieces in, but now I’ve accepted that those items have to live somewhere else. In our case that doesn’t mean we have to get rid of it (we have other rooms to transfer them to), but in some cases, letting go of the items might be the right thing to do.

If you’re planning on staying somewhere for a while, and a piece of furniture you love doesn’t have a home in your new space but you couldn’t possibly give it away, see if someone you love can make use of it, or rent a storage unit — but think hard on these pieces and try to let go if they’re not right for your new home. Think of the joy someone at goodwill (or on craigslist) will have when they stumble upon your awesome piece.

 

03. Find all items a real home

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While this photo above is beautiful and those paintings are clearly living there, if that isn’t your style and you’re just propping them up until you find the time, or the energy, or the man-power to put them up, find whatever you need and get the deed done. Your place will feel like a real home once you arrange your favorite pieces exactly where you want them! And even if you put it in a spot and then change your mind, that’s ok – how would you know it’s not the right place until you try? Get the boxes out of the way, find homes for those random piles you’ve got laying around, and start gettin’ things organized!

 

04. Freshen up

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Let’s be real, there’s nothing grosser than a former tenant’s dust and crumbs. This past week Reg and her roommates were doing a sweep of their new place before they officially move in so they can see what needs to be done beforehand. They opened the fridge, kitchen cabinets, etc… and let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. One major way to make your place feel like your own is to give that bad boy a good scrubbing. If your landlord lets you, try to get in a day or two early to throw some elbow grease into it. Clean the baseboards, windows (and their sills!), bathtub, toilet, the works. Hardwood floors? Polish them! Carpet? Rent a carpet cleaner! This will make things feel so much nicer once you start to bring all of your furniture in.

Once you’re settled, keep the momentum going! Get some potted herbs for your kitchen window, hang some plants in the living room, and put some flowers in the entry way. One of our favorite tricks is to simmer some citrus peels and spices over the stovetop. It’ll make your place smell so fresh. *A nice springy option is lemon rinds and rosemary.

 

05. Start exploring your new neighborhood & community 

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While this chunk of advice doesn’t have anything to do with decorating (boo), it is an important part of a move. Start exploring your new neighborhood, take walks around the block, find a new jogging route – once you’ve become more familiar with your new area, you’ll start to feel at home in your new place. If you move into an apartment building, start paying attention to familiar faces, or if you’ve moved into a split family house, chat with your neighbor whenever you both have a minute. The more comfortable you are in your new zone, the sooner your new apartment or house will feel like home!

 

What do you guys like to do to make your home cozy? Let us know!

 

images: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

Pins We Love

Good morning! How was everyone’s weekend? Hope it was both relaxing and exciting all at once. It’s finally sort of starting to feel like spring around here (and by that, I mean that we can wear flats and rolled up jeans without our ankles shivering), so we’re feeling inspired and light. We feel like cleaning, painting, cooking, & exercising all at once. While of course that’s probably over-ambitions and we’re likely to only get one of those tasks done if we’re lucky, it’s nice to dream! Here are some of our favorite pretty pins keeping us inspired this week:

pin1 pin2 pin3 pin4 pin5 pin6 Image courtesy of Alanna Taylor Tobin | The Bojon Gourmet pin8 pin9 pin10

 

images via: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

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A few Saturdays back I found myself hunkered down in my Boston apartment while it snowed a good foot or two outside — an ideal day to curl up with some good music and bake some treats. Now I’ve made a whole lotta muffins in my day, and I’ll be totally honest, some of them were not so good. I think it’s because I’m the queen of trying to make things my own and not completely follow the recipe. This time however, things took an upturn, and these were probably some of my best muffins to date. My roommates devoured them, and I received praise while they showered me with gifts, kissed my feet at the base of my thrown, and fed me wine and grapes while slapping my hand if I tried to lift a finger. Okay, maybe not so much. But they did tell me they were great and beg me to make more. The best part? Low fat and low sugar — woot!

This recipe was adapted from Skinny Taste, the Mecca of low fat comfort food. I made a few adjustments, the most major of which was using white flour instead of wheat. I’ve baked with wheat flour several times, and have just never been pleased with the results. It always turns out spongey for me — anyone else have this issue?

INGREDIENTS

For the muffins:

1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 cups of white flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp butter, room temp

 For the streusel:

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp butter, room temp
Roughly 3 tbsp white flour, slowly add until you reach the right level of crumble

TO MAKE

Preheat oven to 325°

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Mix well.

In a stand mixer, mix eggs, melted butter, vanilla and applesauce until well combined. Gradually add the flour mixture into the stand mixer until just mixed. Fold in your blueberries with a spatula.

Pour your batter into 12 lined muffins tins and set aside.

Begin your streusel by combining the butter and sugar into a small bowl. Gradually add your flour until you reach a crumbly texture. You don’t want it to be too dry, but it shouldn’t be able to form a ball.

Evenly disperse your streusel onto each muffin. Bake at 325° for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes. 

Enjoy!

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