Lately

GUYSSSSSSSSSS!!! Only 6 more days until Christmas!! It’s actually more like 5 though because Christmas Eve counts as the beginning of the festivities and I plan on eating and drinking my way through the entire day (and helping my Mom prepare dinner too I guess).

I can’t believe how fast the month of December has gone by. I am feeling the pressure to finish up all my last minute shopping and baking this weekend. I know I said the same thing last weekend (but ended up hanging out with friends and family instead of checking things off my list).

The problem is that I have a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out) and I can’t say no. No matter how tired I am on any given day…chances are if you call me to do dinner, drinks, brunch…I will convince myself it is a WAY better idea to hang out than to clean my house, catch up on sleep, or bake cookies.

Mikey is way better at saying no to things. I’m trying to learn from his example.

I used to make fun of my Mom and give her a legitimate hard time for always being SO busy and then getting stressed. I would tell her it was her fault for always telling everyone she would come to their party, or bake them 200 cookies for a party. Well looky looky here…I am the spittin’ image of my Mom. But you know what? I’ll take it. Because my Mom is the most amazing human I know and if I can be HALF as generous, or stretch myself half as thin (while keeping a joyful heart) as her…I like to think I can make the world a little bit better. [Thanks, Mom :)].

I hope you are feeling wonderful this Friday! We woke up to the teeniest dusting of snow and it made me super excited! Here is a little Friday inspiration to help get you through the day :)

I saw these Vans suede hi-tops and knew they had to be mine. A santa gift to myself for all my hard work thus far. So I went to the Madewell website only to discover that they are SOLD OUT. It’s definitely for the better. Our December credit card bill can’t handle another transaction…Crossing my fingers these babies will be back in stock in January!!!

[Santa, if you’re out there reading this, I’m a size 8! xoxo]
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I told a story in my last Cinnamon Roll post about our Christmas morning tradition of Monkey Bread for breakfast, only to realize that I haven’t posted my recipe for it yet! So here is a temporary fix for you in case you want to make your own this Holiday season. I promise to share my recipe (super similar to this recipe from Freutcake if not the same) in the new year!
6af2e20c8e6f0638894e385bf6292c27By now you are well aware of my love for all things bubbly. This Winter Champagne Cocktail from Style Within Reach looks like a beautiful addition to any Holiday celebration!
d97eb116722b5cc55bc23f01cdbd7a78I love a good crop top and want to just take a moment to bow down to Alicia Silverstone. The movie Clueless was my number 1 obsession for a good 4 years of adolescence and I am now in the market for a fuzzy, pink cropped sweater…thank you Rookie Mag for helping me reminisce. fe443b9d3539b4bb1a01e0e452c83851What would a “lately” post be without something about a cat? This is hilarious and would make people laugh (maybe at you). If you are a cat lover (or have a weird cat person in your life) this seems like a necessary addition to the wardrobe!

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Classic Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

When it comes to indulging during the Holidays, breakfast pastries are one of my favorite splurges.

Aside from Monkey Bread, these cinnamon rolls are my favorite excuse to basically eat dessert for breakfast.

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I have been meaning to make and share my favorite cinnamon roll recipe for a couple years and finally had the time to make them when Mikey was away one weekend (which resulted in me eating them for every meal). They are a bit time consuming, but if you have other things to do during some of the waiting periods they’re totally manageable (and worth it). Any time I see a cinnamon roll on a menu I am tempted to get it. The smell of Cinnabon at the mall gets me every. single. time. There is something about that cream cheese frosting melting into the doughy cinnamon and sugar that I literally can’t say no to! As I write this I am having a super hard time telling myself not to go get a cinnamon roll for lunch!

We are huge traditionalist’s and all around Holiday cheer people in my family…I blame my Mom for my obsession with all things festive and jolly. One of my favorite things is waking up on Christmas morning at my parents house to the smell of coffee and Monkey Bread…and sometimes, when I’m lucky, cinnamon rolls!

As kids, we always woke up super early and started screaming at my parents to wake up. The rule was no opening or shaking anything until they came out of their room. My favorite story (I have many, I was a very naughty/sneaky child) was the year my brother and I bought each other Giga Pets. I was horrible at keeping secrets and told him right away that I had gotten him a frog and forced him to tell me what he got me.

We were so excited to open them but my parents were still in their room, so I told my brother to follow my lead and start tearing up computer paper right outside their door. I started screaming, “YAYYYYYY THE DALMATIAN GIGA PET!!!!”, and my brother repeated the same about his frog…it worked.

My Mom came running out of her room in a flurry yelling that we had to wait…Got her! She then laughed and told us we could open our stockings even though we were brats ;)

We were always up so early so we would always eat breakfast after presents…but that has shifted now and my Mom is always up before us, turning on all the Christmas lights, lighting the candles and prepping the food (which now has lots of eggs since Mikey does not do sweets for breakfast. Travesty.).

I am so excited to head up to the beautiful Northwoods this year with my family and sit around, eat cookies and reminisce about the funny Christmases from the past. And I guarantee my Mom will say the same thing she says every year when she is ready for bed, “Ok kids, time to go to bed so Santa can come”.

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If you don’t have a Christmas breakfast tradition I highly recommend you add these cinnamon rolls to your list!!! They are SO gooey and delicious!

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Lately

Happy Friday!!!!

I am so glad it’s the weekend and that it’s a Holiday weekend at that! That means Christmas parties, baking Christmas cookies and blasting as much Wham “Last Christmas” as possible!

I have a few links of fun Christmas recipes as well as a couple last minute gift ideas for the cat lover or makeup fanatic in the family.

Hope you are finding time to focus on the reason we celebrate this time of year and reducing the stress that can often come with the busyness of parties, gifts and prep. Mikey and I plan on seeing some friends this weekend and then I promised myself I would buckle down and tackle my long list of Christmas cookies! I’m hoping to add a couple new recipes this year, and promise to post the keepers with you!

Have a blessed day and weekend, I hope you enjoy what I’ve been crushing on lately :)

[Look at this beautiful, raw and vegan Eggnog…what?! Raw and vegan…does that make it healthy? Not sure if “fun uncle” would love this eggnog…but you could try and trick your guests with this healthy spin on one of my Holiday favorites]
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Even though I am about ready to ninja chop our cat, Norman, for constantly trying to climb our tree or play with ornaments…I think this modern cat couch is the best thing I’ve seen for cat’s this year! it goes so well with our modern style couch and I’m pretty sure he would love it…last minute Christmas gift for the little cookie nabbing, tree climbing menace??? He’s just so cute when he’s sleeping!

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If you have not tried these Too Faced Melted lipsticks yet I am begging you to get one for a friend and three for yourself. I am pretty sure they were made for people like me who are too lazy to reapply lipstick and always afraid it’s smudging across my face. This long-wear lipstick comes in shades that flatter every skin tone and stay on through those holiday appetizers and cocktails. Any girlfriend or family member would be obsessed with one of these for Christmas! You have my word! [and if they hate it you can just send the lipstick my way ;) ].
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Who doesn’t love Apres Ski?

My favorite part about snowboarding in the mountains is the time of the day when everyone heads down the hill and grabs a refreshing mountain beer. I swear it tastes so much better after a day on the slopes. You’re tired from that crisp air and a day of shredding (I sound like a pro, right?) and you can sit and relax all while watching people who are coming in waaayyy too hot and have to bail so they don’t crash into anyone. Or watch people as they struggle to get their skis off and either tip over or lay down for a rest…can you tell I love to people watch? People watching would be even better in this cute Apres Ski top from Nordstrom. Last minute gift idea for the mountain girl in your family!

7904d6802606c860f7106af8a148ed02 Naomi over at Bakers Royale is always stunning me with her beautiful desserts. She is a doctor with two kids, yet she has the most delicious sweets and best pictures and I am pretty sure she is a super human for making time to manage a blog as well as live her life. She’s amazing. And I think this Peppermint de6de778da84df0d5891692eb50fd44a

How to Build the Perfect Cheese Plate

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I’m from Wisconsin. I love cheese.

My perfect meal is cheese.

Whether it’s paired with amazing wine or beautiful sides and toppings…or straight out of the tub, I love it!

I am no expert on cheese and wine pairings. I just made what I think is a super solid cheese spread and thought I would share the deliciousness with you!

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I had a friend (yes, all this cheese for just the two of us…though Mikey and his cousin showed up later and helped us) over for a cheese and wine lunch (which inevtiably turned into an early bedtime).

I didn’t do much research before I went out and  bought my cheeses and things…I just went with what I love and it turns out I followed a lot of the actual “rules” in making a cheese plate!

I’ll give you a little how-to guide that you can follow. Here is what I’ve got:

1. You don’t need a ton of different types of cheese and you want to avoid anything with “added” flavors. You want to avoid things that have added herbs or spices because they may not pair with all the other toppings you have out. Plus, other additives distract from the true flavor of the cheese.

2. Keep your sauces (mustard, jam, honey) off to the side rather than pouring them over the cheese. That way you can try the cheese alone or with all the other toppings, deciding which pairing you like best.

3. Funky. Creamy. Gooey. Sweet. Salt. I feel like you need to have a few cheeses that fall into these categories. Something to please everyone!

4. Make sure you have your cheese out at the right temperature and pre-sliced or at least have the proper utensils available to slice the it. The last thing you want is for someone to walk away with half your block of Brie because it was too hard to slice.

 

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I wanted to have some other jams and sauces to go with the cheese. I mixed some Greek honey with some toasted pecans and it was great. I also used a spicy pepper jelly and some hot brown mustard. I sliced up some apples and pears as well as some salami.

I picked out a nice French baguette and some gluten free crackers and then some olives, roasted red peppers and marinated artichokes.

I don’t know much about pairing wine with cheese…I just know I like wine, and I like cheese…therefore I eat them together. We had a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Rose and a Prosecco. They were all delicious with the cheeses. DSC_0096

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  • Time: 10 minutes prep
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Cheeses:

Sartori Gold BellaVitano. Rich, Creamy cheese with nutty, fruity flavor. World cheese gold medal winner

Champignon Cambazola black label

Meadowkass Dutch Gouda

Brie Chantelain Double Cream

Wines:

Cabernet Sauvignon

Rose

Prosecco

Sauces:

Pepper Jelly

Brown Mustard

Honey with toasted Pecans

Sides:

Salami

French Bread

Crackers

Olives

Roasted Red Peppers

Marinated Artichoke Hearts

Pear (sliced)

Apple (sliced)

Other optional sides/toppings:

Any type of jam is always amazing when paired with cheese. Flavored honey or syrup is also great. You could serve with any fruit or any nuts. Also grapes and chocolate pair great with wine and cheese!

Lately

I am in the Christmas spirit. Christmas music is on blast, decorations are up, and packages from Amazon are beginning to arrive.

I love the hustle and bustle that comes along with Christmas. We have a pretty packed schedule this Christmas season and I am so excited to celebrate with friends and family!

I am inspired to try harder with my decorating skills…this wreath and chalkboard are amazing
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It is so easy to get caught up in the chaos that comes with Christmas and very easy to lose focus on the whole reason we celebrate! I got this beautiful Advent book, “O Come Let Us Adore Him” for my Mom and my sister in law and we are loving the daily verses that help us stay focused on the reason we celebrate Christmas!

Advent_Listing_Cover1Obviously we all love the song…and what’s better than a cute little throw pillowfda4583361dbcfd55747e2820c254f41Booze and ice cream. No more words are needed. Just a large Brandy Alexander in my hand, please.

(different recipes have cream or ice cream, depends on what you’re in the mood for).
62cfa6615a7a76f0812ef03c53b04214I want to find some fun Scandinavian Christmas decorations to celebrate my heritage and because my Grandma always has the best Swedish and Norwegian decor during the Holidays! I love this sweet little scene here!

8c5c4366bc7c56eaa7725f82331376a1 Leave it to Martha. I can totally see my Mom making a whimsical little village like this! I can just imagine how obsessed I would have been with something like this as a kid! Hopefully I can make time to decorate on this level someday!

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