Going for Gold

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Happy Monday! It’s always hard getting back into the working routine after a relaxing weekend, but a positive environment can make it much easier. Get excited about being back at your desk with a bright notebook and cheerful coffee mug! I get a little too excited over school supplies, especially new notebooks and planners. When I saw this hot pink and gold notebook on sale at Home Goods, I couldn’t pass it up. Now I can’t wait to go take notes! Yes, I’m a big nerd…

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I am currently loving gold details and calligraphy on pretty much everything. My skills need a little fine tuning (okay, a lot), but I decided to give it a try and decorate a simple coffee mug from the dollar store. I used a gold paint pen to write “Enjoy today,” which is a phrase I came across on Pinterest and thought it was a good reminder to make every day count. My goal is to do one thing that I enjoy each day, whether that’s baking some cupcakes, treating myself to a new piece of clothing or a relaxing yoga class.

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For this DIY project, you only need a plain mug, paint pen and favorite quote. You can use the inspirational mug for your morning coffee or to hold writing utensils at your desk.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Cup

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Sometimes you just need a good ol’ chocolate chip cookie fresh out of the oven. If you don’t have the time or energy to whip up an entire batch this “cookie in a cup” recipe is the perfect quick fix. You still get the warm, chewy cookie and melted chocolate chips without the mess. The sweet treat will definitely satisfy a cookie craving. Make sure to have a glass of milk close by!

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Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Cup

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 3 drops of vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • slightly less than 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 Tbsp. semi-sweet chocolate chips

How-to:

Combine butter, sugars, vanilla and salt in microwavable mug or cup. Add egg yolk and stir until combined. Mix in flour, stirring until dough forms. Gently fold in chocolate chips and then sprinkle some on top. Microwave for 40-55 seconds, until almost set. It will continue cooking once it is out of the microwave, so no need to over do it.

Crock-Pot Hot Chocolate

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I feel weird writing this post because it is currently 70 degrees in Vegas (yes, it’s January – it still blows my mind), but I wanted to share this recipe for hot chocolate because it’s a cozy Valentine’s Day treat, especially when paired with these vanilla creme Peeps and cute “nuts about you” mug – both from Target.

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My boyfriend’s mom made this delicious hot chocolate while we were visiting them in Wyoming for Christmas. She had it waiting for us when we got back from snowmobiling and it was much appreciated! After freezing on the mountain, it felt amazing to put on fleece sweats, sit by the fire and sip on this rich hot chocolate while watching the snow fall outside. I have learned that my favorite part of outdoor winter sports is warming up with a warm drink in the lodge afterwards – preferably spiked with Baileys :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 6 cups milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

How-to:

  1. Stir together the whipping cream, milk, vanilla and chocolate chips in a Crock-Pot.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot and chocolate chips are melted.
  3. Stir again, then ladle into mugs. Keep the Crock-Pot on low and stir occasionally to enjoy hot chocolate for hours.

Other ideas:

  • Stir with a peppermint stick or add crushed peppermint candy
  • Top with marshmallows and whipped cream
  • Add other flavors, such as butterscotch, gingerbread or caramel
  • Substitute white or dark chocolate in the recipe
  • Add fresh-brewed coffee or espresso
  • Add whipped cream vodka or Baileys

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Holiday Gift Idea: DIY Coasters

20131127-224844.jpgChristmas shopping for the coffee drinkers in your life? They will love this personalized, yet inexpensive gift. While looking for a birthday present to give my sister, I came across this monogrammed, chevron mug at Target and knew she would love it. Thus began my coffee themed present! She’s a huge Starbucks fan, so I couldn’t pass up the mini red cup gift cards they have this season. I also wanted to add a personalized touch and had previously made some Instagram coasters that turned out well, so I decided to make some with her favorite photos. The coasters were by far her favorite part of the present! Below is how I made them.

Supplies:

  • Printed 4″ x 4″ Instagram photos (You can order them straight from your phone at Walgreens)
  • 4.25″ x 4.25″ tiles (found at Home Depot for 11 cents each)
  • Mod Podge (I used the outdoor version)
  • Foam paint brush
  • Clear Acrylic spray
  • Small, round felt pads

How to:

  1. Paint a thin layer of Mod Podge on the tile and stick on the photo. Make sure there are not any air bubbles that form underneath it. Sometimes it helps to run a credit card or similar flat edge over it to make sure. Let dry for a couple of minutes.
  2. Next, paint a thin layer of Mod Podge over the top of the photo. The brush marks should go in the same direction (i.e., either vertical or horizontal). Let dry.
  3. Paint another coat over the photo in the opposite direction. Let dry.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 one more time.
  5. Once the Mod Podge has dried, spray coaster with a light layer of Clear Acrylic spray. Add 2 more coats, drying in between.
  6. Stick a felt pad in each of the 4 corners.

Pinterest Picks

When I have blogger’s block, I look to Pinterest for inspiration. Whether it’s a DIY project or a recipe for brownies baked in a mason jar, it never disappoints. The only problem is that I don’t have enough time to try everything! Here are some of my favorite pins, which I hope to try in the future or just get my creative juices flowing.

ed0745184fca51ef0542a8b946975e8dThere are three things I love about this outfit from Happily Grey. First, the studded accessories. The statement necklace is subtle and blends perfectly with the leopard-print shirt, which brings me to the second thing I love – the trendy tee. The pattern looks classy, not cheap or trashy. Finally, I love the pop of color the blue clutch brings to the outfit. I would never think of pairing the royal blue color with this look, but it’s such a fun addition! My new style goal is to add an unexpected pop of color to an otherwise neutral outfit.

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I have an unhealthy obsession with cupcakes. These twinkling treats from Stay At Home Chic make me want to bake up a storm. The polka dot wrappers and ruffled-edge cake stand are adorable!

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Gorgeous nails! I love the nude base with gold tips and one nail with glitter! It’s simple, shimmery and stylish!

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With the holidays coming up, these handmade mugs would make for great gifts! There’s nothing like a cup of peppermint hot chocolate, a cozy blanket and Christmas lights to get you into the holiday spirit! Check out Wit and Whistle for the full tutorial.

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I love dogs, especially labs, so I could scroll through the puppy pages for hours. All of the adorable photos make me miss my two dogs at home in Washington. There’s nothing like a goofy, loving pup to brighten your day!

Happy Pinning!