Ahhh. I almost feel like I should apologize for this. Almost. I know how we all made our "new year, new me" resolutions not so long ago and it's not that I'm out to shatter those goals entirely, it's just that... this dessert is too good. It's *eyes roll to the back of my head* tasty And it would be totally unfair if I kept it all to myself, you know? So, kale, schmale. You deserve a little indulgence, right? Right.
I'm a dessert kind of gal, so this tart is truly my most cherished recipe right now. It's ooey and gooey and has everything I love combined into one slice. And, one thing's for sure - it's guaranteed to charm the pants off of whoever you share it with. Which is why it's the perfect recipe to make for Valentine's Day.
The original idea and recipe for this caramel tart was adapted from Half Baked Harvest but, Sam has since bribed me into swapping some of ingredients to satisfy his taste preferences. And, I must say that it has made it that much better. This dessert has the sweet, the salty, the savory, and the slutty. It's my Valentine's Day gift to you and it doesn't even come with a walk of shame tomorrow morning. Unless that walk is back to your fridge to get another slice, in which case... go for it.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Crust
Good morning, weekenders. Yesterday, I carried out the dreaded task of getting all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed. Yikes, right? It has actually turned out to be much worse than I had even imagined. I've been consistently nauseous, bloody, and light headed. Not to mention that it looks (and feels) like I have two giant grapefruits stuck in either side of my mouth. I'd love to say that I've been enjoying myself with tons of long naps, time spent working on the blog, and creamy milkshakes but, that hasn't exactly been the case, yet. The only positive that has come out of this weekend so far is that I've had my two babies by my side from morning until night. And they have been absolutely wonderful.
That being said, I truly hope that you are having a better weekend than me. It'd be tough not to, no? So, today while I attempt to regain normalcy before work on Monday, I've rounded up my favorite links from around the web including a romantic, Winter tablescape, some tasty potatoes, a DIY for Valentine's Day, and more. Have a look below:
Ahh, open shelving. How can something that seems so minuscule alter the entire style and mood of a room? With so many different options and ways to style the shelves, it seems like the obvious go-to for any empty space. Open shelving is present in every home design inspiration that I have been lusting after for the past year. It appears that it is currently the only constant in my style preferences. So, today I've rounded up a handful of my favorite open shelving styles and designs for our second installment of Project Dream House.
now this is a place where i would do the laundry... probably [image]
makes grabbing a drink so much quicker, no? [image]
obsessed with the rustic wood [image]
an artsy and modern feel [image]
a kitchen fit for a chef [image]
my actual dream room [image]
a hot tub along with it doesn't hurt either [image]
A few months ago. Sam and I attended our very first wheel throwing pottery class in historic Ellicott City. We are always looking for new classes to attend and skills to learn (even if it's just for fun or entertainment). So, after we came across a pottery studio on Groupon, we figured we'd give it a go. We fell in love with wheel throwing almost immediately and Sam even asked the instructor halfway through the class if it would be plausible to get a pottery wheel and oven at home for personal use. Although it wasn't quite the right time to leap full-force into professional pottery for us (lol), we did create a couple of beautiful pieces to use in our home. Mine: jewelry holder. Sam's: cereal bowl. Logical, right?
Well, when my small jewelry holder began to overflow with everything from chunky necklaces, to delicate earrings, stacked rings, and more, I knew that I needed a little more room to expand. I came across this DIY tutorial from almost makes perfect (one of my favorite blogs) a few days ago and I knew that making these would be the perfect addition for organizing the goods. If you recall, this past Christmas I attempted to make a homemade ornament of Sam, Oliver, and I for our tree using clay. Hooowever, the clay I made it out of ended up not exactly being "oven-bake". Whoops.
So, this time I decided not to almost burn our kitchen down, and picked up the correct tools to entertain myself during this enormous snow storm. Whiiich, by the way, I'm currently still stuck in. No complaining here, folks. I've been holed up inside making pie tarts, beef stew, and these ring cones all the while sporting my zebra onesie that I haven't changed out of since Friday afternoon. It's basically a dream come true. Today, I'm planning on venturing out for the first time to the end of our street to scoop up an extra large order of my favorite food in the whole world (too dramatic?) - truffle fries. If that's not an ideal situation, I don't know what is.
That said, these super easy DIY ring cones would be the perfect gift for your best friends or even your Mom for Valentine's Day. Who said that this holiday has to revolve around your boyfriend/husband? Show your love for a loyal friend or supportive mother by making them their own unique ring holder to showcase their jewelry.
I used my watercolor paint as a base for these ring cones then painted over them with the acrylic paint so that the colors would have more texture and depth. You can do this if you have watercolor paint available, or you can simply use the acrylic paint to complete (which is a lot faster). It truly is your personal preference on how you want them to look.
I would characterize this past week as exceptionally calm and relaxing in comparison to the rest of January thus far. I actually found the time to catch up on a few blog posts and projects I had been meaning to share and/or start. I also sipped on a lot of Zen tea and worked on an inspiration board to guide me through February (coming soon).
As if the week hadn't been dreamy enough, this weekend I am stuck entirely indoors with the hubs and our little bear. We've stocked up on plenty of food, snow supplies, and tequila to keep the margaritas rolling. In addition to that, we have already begun our weekend-long Scrabble competition and are debating starting the very first season of the show, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine", since we already watched every episode of our normal shows. Also - Zoolander, because I never saw the first movie and apparently it's funny, or something.
So, aside from just enjoying this weekend relaxing at home, I'll be working on a new dessert recipe in the kitchen and a February DIY project for the blog. What are you up to this weekend? Hopefully not doing anything hideously embarrassing like dressing up as Snooki from The Jersey Shore, or like, missing out on all of these fun projects below. Either way, let me know (and send me pictures if it's the first one).
You know how some foods just stick with you through life? Burned into your memory the first time you ever laid eyes on it. The first time you tasted a combination so bizarre and removed from your prior food experiences. I have a few foods that come to mind when I think of this phenomenon. One being this Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Waffle.
My family had rented a beach front cottage in Dewey Beach for vacation that Summer and my step dad, Eric, was making us all breakfast in the kitchen as usual. We were slowly recovering from board games and too many Coronas the night before and I remember walking into the kitchen to see (and smell) a cracked can of refried beans on the counter. Immediately, I gave him my best, half-open evil eye. He is fully aware of my hatred of refried beans. Not having the energy to fight him at this point, I grudgingly dragged myself back to the sun room and decided in my mind that I would just have plain waffles when we sat down.
Much to my surprise, once the BLD waffles were assembled and on the table in front of me, the last thing on my mind was refried beans and I was already anticipating the first bite. The combination looked so strange but, ridiculously delicious. It was every bit of savory and mouth-watering and I quickly piled more onto my plate, not thinking twice about my bikini body for later. #YOLO.
Ever since this life-changing (too dramatic?) day, no breakfast has yet to top these BLD waffles in my mind. Needless to say, they have quickly become a weekend staple in our household.
That being said, if you really want to impress your trendy friends or your foodie in-law's by hosting a brunch at home, this recipe is it. I have yet to spot the combination of food on a menu at any restaurant, dive, or bar. Surprise them by making the most delicious combination of breakfast, lunch, and dinner food they could have ever imagined and then top it off with a make-your-own bloody mary bar. You'll never have an empty house on Sunday again.
Recipe adapted from Top Chef: The Cookbook.
We're already halfway through January and Valentine's Day is on my mind. At least once a week, Sam and I designate a night for a date just the two of us. With so many things directing our attention away from each other all week, it makes sense that we have a night to ignore those demands and focus on what truly matters. Even though we have been together for over 4 years, on those nights I like to put on my bold red lipstick, give extra consideration to my hair, and find an outfit that reflects my sultry mood.
I think this is especially important to practice with your significant other if you live together or are already married. My feeling is that just because I see Sam every day, oftentimes in the most unglamorous circumstances, I don't want either of us to forget what makes us feel "sexy" or desired. It is important to get dolled up for only your partner on occasion even if, 80 percent of the time, they see you in sweats with no make up on. It's less of an emphasize on the actual outward appearance than it is on the effort spent. No one wants to feel like they are not worth the effort anymore.
That being said, because I tend to gravitate toward black during the colder months, I chose to wear an all white (or tan) ensemble because I feel that it speaks volumes. It makes you stand out against a crowd of LBD's and dark knit sweaters in the middle of January.
The funny thing is that I actually purchased this jumpsuit for Summer but, with the high slit and the light color, it ended up working perfectly with a simple cashmere sweater for Winter. The accessories that I used to style this jumpsuit were cluster earrings featuring a black crystal drop, a simple gold bracelet with two jewel clusters on each end, and my black clutch that has just enough room to fit my phone, lipstick, and a credit card.
For the finishing touches of an all white outfit, I like to add a pop of color which is my red lipstick and nail polish in this particular look. However, a bright heel or purse would create the same effect.
Jumpsuit: White House Black Market (similar here), Sweater: Cynthia Rowley Cashmere (similar here), Heels: Forever21 Curved Strap Stiletto, Lipstick: MAC Ruby Woo, Nail polish: Essie Size Matters, Clutch: Natasha (similar here), Earrings: JCrew (similar here), Bracelet: The Loft (similar here)
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