Cinnamon Spiced Cider

Another snowday is officially in the books for DC! I know post-Christmas snow is much less exciting to most, but I’m still jumping for joy over here. Since winter is my favorite season, I like to stretch it out as much as I can (sorry to those pining for spring)! I unfortunately didn’t get a FULL snowday on Tuesday, but we did get to leave early – and this is what I encountered on my way home:

20140123-101135.jpg

Literally can’t even see the Capitol from Union Station!

20140123-101123.jpg

Just beginning to accumulate….

As soon as I got home, I put on my sweats, lit some candles, and whipped up a batch of this amazingggg cider that my roommate taught me to make last winter. It’s literally the easiest recipe ever – all you need is a Crock-Pot, apple cider, and a few spices! You can even include some spiced rum if you feel like adding a little flare! The “fun” part of winter might be over, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t try to make the best of what’s left!

20140123-101053.jpg

I just took this pic to show off my new measuring spoon set….

20140123-101215.jpg

so much goodness is 1 cup

Cinnamon Spiced Cider

So whip up a batch, grab a cozy blanket, and get ready to ride out the rest of winter!

xO -S

Categories: DIY, Food | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Quinoa Pizza Bites

I finally did it, you guys! I finally cooked with meat! Okay, not really COOKED…but this recipe does INCLUDE meat. It also includes my new obsession – quinoa.

20140109-104229.jpg

This was the perfect way to keep my New Year’s Resolution to cook more at home. I think the reasons a lot of people, including myself, don’t cook at home are that 1.) it’s time consuming and 2.) buying all those ingredients can get expensive. This recipe shatters those assumptions. I already had most of the ingredients on hand so all I had to buy was a package of pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, and marinara sauce (which is optional, anyway). I also had to invest in a mini-muffin tin for these – which is totally fine by me because I already have 100 more ideas on ways to use it again…okay, 75 of them are other versions of these bites…

The preparation took some time because it was a new recipe, but now that I’ve got it down, I can’t imagine it taking more than 30 minutes + cooking time. They’re also SUPER healthy AND filling (rare combination!). The recipe made 45 bites – enough for more than 5 full meals! Mine didn’t come out looking all that wonderful the first time around, but once I brush up on the presentation I fully plan on making these for every party, pot luck, or gathering I can!

Another benefit is that you can really cater this recipe to your preferences. If you don’t eat meat, substitute diced tomatoes or spinach. Basically throw in whatever you like on regular pizza! I think next time I’m going to try it with olives and feta…or even sausage…the possibilities are endless!

20140109-103111.jpg

20140109-103129.jpg

Quinoa Pizza Bites

What would you put in your bites?

-S

Recipe adapted from: So Very Blessed

Categories: DIY, Food | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

Tuesday Shoesday: Polar Vortex Edition!

Guys, it’s cold here. I know  it’s cold EVERYWHERE, but it’s the coldest it’s been in DC in a very long time.  And it’s our first winter in DC that is actually a real winter!

That being said, we’ve obviously got a running wish list of shoes we need to handle these conditions! Here are our dream snow shoes:

E went to school in Rochester, but it’s just not quite the same when you have to trek through slushy city streets and still look presentable when you get into the office. A pair of either of these boots would probably really help with that.

Hunter Boots + Faux Fur Cuff Socks

Faux-Fur-Welly-Socks3

hunter socks

Women’s Bean Boots by L.L. Bean

llbean boots

S actually loves the cold and is far more prone to taking walks and hanging out outside in freezing temperatures (weird, I know!). So obviously a good, sturdy pair of boots is in need for that kind of business!

zara boots

fuzzy boots

Women’s Waterproof Fold-Down Boots by Timberland

timberland

And BONUS: everyone needs to own one of these two scarves because they’re amazzzzing and so warm AND on sale right now:

Soft Printed Scarf from Zara

zara scarf

So many ways to wear it!

me in scarf

S might be a little obsessed with hers

Fauz Fur Snood by ASOS

fur snood

slightly different color but still amazing!

elyse snood

E staying warm in the polar vortex!

What shoes and other accessories do you use to combat snow and bad weather?

xO E&S

Categories: Fashion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Resolution Season – S Style

Last week E posted her new year’s resolutions on the blog so I figured with 2014 officially underway that it’s time I posted mine too (plus, now all of you can help hold me accountable).

My main goal with resolutions is to make them extremely realistic. I hate setting myself up for failure and one of my mid-year resolutions this year (going rouge, I know!) was to be more self-aware. I’m constantly trying to better myself, but I also have to realize that I know myself best and I need to adapt any potential changes to what can realistically work for me. So these may not be the loftiest of goals, and they may not be exactly measurable – but they are all sure-fire ways to make me a more put-together and all around happier person.

1. Better monitor my spending

MoneyTree

or learn to grow one of these…..

I think I’m done pretending I can use budget apps and notebooks for now. I’ve tried every trick in the book and nothing seems to work – there’s just something that seems so inefficient to me about writing every little transaction in a notebook or opening an app every time I want a coffee. But I do need to start paying better attention to what I am spending. So that all being said, I’m vowing to start using cash more and lay off the debit card. It’s so easy to swipe your card everywhere, but with cash I have a much better picture of how much I am actually spending.

And yes, ending up with loose change is annoying…but hey, maybe this will lead to another resolution….saving coins for something big, maybe?

2. Cook more at home

cooking

I love baking. This is no secret to anyone who reads our blog. But one of my ongoing goals is to cook more real meals (and healthier meals!). If I have skills with flour and sugar, who says that can’t translate to chicken and veggies? Plus, with cooking there are just SO many more opportunities to experiment and be creative! I’m not talking anything fancy, but grilling some chicken every once in a while probably wouldn’t kill me. I hope this can help me save some money on buying lunch out and lead to an overall healthier diet as well!

3. Get my morning act together

cereal

Like E, I have a track record for playing the ‘how quickly can I get ready and out the door’ game in the mornings.  And everyday I play this game, I feel and look like crap upon my arrival into the office – which is not really how you want to start the work day. There are literally COUNTLESS benefits to waking up a little earlier and spending a little extra time getting ready instead of having to rush through a morning routine. You can eat a real breakfast – the healthiest meal of the day, you’re more awake and alert, you look much better when you put effort in, and it’s no surprise that heading off to work looking good automatically puts you in a better mood and starts your day off right.

 I’ll never be the girl who wakes up early enough to hit the gym, shower, make a gourmet breakfast, and solve world hunger….but I definitely can manage to get my butt up in enough time to eat a bowl of cereal and put on some makeup.

4. No texting, tweeting, or facebooking when with friends

A wise man – okay, it was Andy from The Office – once said: “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.” But it’s SO TRUE. There’s nothing more annoying than trying to have a conversation with someone while they’re scrolling through their newsfeed reading about what so-and-so from high school made for dinner. But we’re all guilty of it. So this year I’m vowing to put the electronics down and focus instead on what’s right in front of me and building real relationships. I’ve met an amazing group of people here in DC, and it would be a shame to miss out on real fun because I’m lost in my phone. Plus, there’s plenty of time to catch-up on social media on those long metro rides into the city or on my way to the grocery store.

What are you resolving to do this year?

xO -S

Categories: Interesting, Motivation, Self Improvement | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Now Playing: New Year, New Tunes!

I was home this week with plenty of time to discover some new music and I am totally ready to bring in 2014 with these new jams:

Later On – The Swon Brothers

swon brothers

I remember watching & loving these guys on last season of The Voice so I am SO excited that they’ve released their first single and that it is really great! They’re full of energy and crazy talented – I think they’ll be around for while! Plus, how could they not be with looks like that?

Numb – August Alsina

numb

I know, the lyrics are absolutely absurd and disgusting, but it wouldn’t be a complete S playlist without at least 1 token terrible rap song. This guy sounds almost exactly like Chris Brown and I dare you to try not dancing when this song comes on.

Team – Lorde

lorde-team-stream

I MIGHT like this song more than Royals. Yeah, I said it. I haven’t listened to the whole ‘Pure Heroine’ album yet, but I like what I hear so far and might have to give in soon. With that voice and passion I still can’t believe she’s only 16.

Talk Dirty – Jason Derulo

JasonDerulo

Okay, fine, maybe this post has 2 absolutely terrible rap songs. But can I really help it if all I want to do is dance? This song is SO different from Jason Derulo’s last hit “Marry Me,” but I won’t lie, I like it a lot more.

and Bonus throwback -

Get Me Bodied – Beyonce

get me bodied

I know she has a completely new and amazing album out, but I have not been able to bring myself to download it yet. I’m still not over Miley’s Bangerz or Eminem’s MMLP2 so I just don’t want to add another full album if I’m unable to give it the attention it deserves (weird, I know). HOWEVER, I have been inspired by the release of the new album to revisit one of my old Bey favorites.

What will you be listening to in the New Year?

-S

Categories: Entertainment, Just for Fun, Music | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Homemade Mac n Cheese!

If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you may know that I’ve been VERY SLOWLY but surely attempting to expand my skills in the kitchen from just baking to cooking real meals. I’ve made a couple great dishes, including this amazing Mexican Quinoa and so I thought it was time to attempt a classic meal…but from scratch.

Alas….homemade mac n cheese!

20131227-161352.jpg

Nothing says rainy Sunday like warm, homemade macaroni. Which is exactly why I spent my last two lazy Sundays in DC trying and tweaking this recipe. I used a mini Crock Pot because a.) that’s all we have at the apartment and b.) I’m only 1 person. But even in the mini pot I was able to execute this recipe, which serves 4. It was super easy to make and has been incredibly well-received by everyone who has tried it!

20131227-161426.jpg

Homemade mac n cheese

This recipe is perfect for anyone who can’t seem to get away from Easy Mac or Kraft because they’re so easy and delicious. This doesn’t take that much more effort, and is 1000 times more delicious, I promise! Just don’t leave the noodles in for too long or they will get super mushy!

I’m actually getting really hungry writing this and I wish I had saved some for lunch today! Try it out and let us know what you think!

-S

Recipe from: Julies Eats & Treats

Categories: DIY, Food | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

The Annual “Resolution” Season

I’m notoriously bad at New Year’s resolutions. I either don’t make them, or make them and break them quickly because they’re some sort of lofty goal like going to the gym daily (which after going to the gym almost never is a big jump). I know I wrote about these last year..but this year I’ve made 3 goals — none of which require me to change much of my daily routine.

1. Save weekly for a trip. 

Florence Italy.. I hope!

The boy and I decided that this year instead of the 5 months straight of presents we normally do (thanks to birthday x2, Christmas/Hanukkah, anniversary, and valentines day in a row) we would try something different. We’re going to go on a trip to Europe! Is this a lofty and financially irresponsible goal? Perhaps. But we’re planning 6 months in advance which will allow our budgets to be created far in advance of our actual trip. So far, I’ve got a few hundred in my virtual “cookie jar” (specifically made for this trip, not general savings) thanks to the help of LearnVest and the year has yet to officially begin!

2. Change my diet

How my plate SHOULD look… instead of entirely starches

I wake up… I drink coffee.. I skip breakfast.. lunch comes around and consists of some sort of sandwich.. more coffee.. I come home and make some sort of pasta with a piece of chicken (IF I’m feeling particularly good) and that’s my nutrients for the day. OH and a gummy vitamin.

As you can see, its not so impressive. I’ve made a person vow to improve this part of my life. It will take up maybe 10 more minutes of my time and the hope is that I’ll feel better day in and day out. Any recipe suggestions are more than welcome!

3. Get my morning act together

I was inspired watching White Christmas last night

This will probably be (sadly) the toughest of my personal resolutions. I’m constantly scrambling in the morning and have timed it so that I cane wake up and be out the door in less that 20 minutes if needed. That’s wonderful and all, but I sometimes get into work not looking my best which is not the attitude that I like to project.

I think I will feel better in the office, and gain more by stepping up my game a bit each day.

I’m sure S has some resolutions for the new year.. what are yours!

xE

Categories: Just for Fun, Motivation, Self Improvement | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

PSA: Buzzfeed – 27 Shocking And Unexpected Facts You Learn In Your Twenties

We’re dropping in quick on this busy Tuesday just to let everyone know that if you haven’t read this article yet, you’re missing out.

Buzzfeed posts some AWESOME stuff for people in this awkward age we call our “twenties”…but this takes the cake on truthfulness. You can find the full article here - but below are some of our personal favorites:

4. There is nothing in the world more annoying than teenagers, and you’re deeply apologetic for everything you did during the last decade of your life.

teenagers

NEVER go to the mall on a Friday night – just a warning!

14. It’s surprisingly rare and special to be able to make a living doing what you love.

do what you love

And even when you are that lucky – doesn’t mean you’ll love it ALL the time…

And especially this one:

27. Except your parents. Shockingly, your parents were right about literally everything. Especially this:

nemo

And this gif…just because…

old ugly crrep

Please tell us we’re not the only ones who related to this so much….

xO E&S

Categories: Interesting, Just for Fun | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Union Market DC

After hearing about it for so many weeks, I finally made my way to Union Market!

Instead of brunch, one of my roommates suggested get some of our fresh air for the day and walk to NoMA with her. After a pit stop for some coffee, we walked from our Dupont home down Florida Ave and arrived at Union Market.

When you first walk up, it’s not entirely what you might expect. There are butchers and wholesale warehouses and it looks as though nothing has been renovated in quite a few years.. but then as you turn the corner you run across an all white building, with orange accents that looks a bit out of place.

You have arrived!

Tada!

Union Market is a DC foodie and gifters paradise. Many of DC’s most loved restaurants have mini outposts inside. You can find empanadas, bagels, a diner, a wine bar, fresh meats and artisan cheeses, a chocolate shop, a tea shop, an oyster bar, a knife shop, a macaroon shop.. to name a few.

There is also a shop section called Sweet and Savory, devoted entirely to home goods and gifts. Here are some of my favorite views from the market:

For your favorite cooking friend

For your favorite cooking friend

I probably need this.. this is generally how I feel

I probably need this.. this is generally how I feel

For your friend who always knows what to order

For your friend who always knows what to order

For your furry adopted friend

For your furry adopted friend

For your adventurous friend

For your adventurous friend

For your home making friend

For your home making friend

mmm CoCo Sala

mmm CoCo Sala

Pearl - Tea

Pearl – Tea

CoCo Sala

CoCo Sala

Look at that in the back

Look at that in the back

Red Apron meats and sandwiches -- I must go back

Red Apron meats and sandwiches — I must go back

afterlight (1)

Buffalo Bergen - Diner/Deli

Buffalo Bergen – Diner/Deli

I think that my favorite part was the artisan cheese section — they have an unbelievable variety and if you can get a spot, you have the option to do a tasting with 3 different types of wines and cheeses.

Who will go with me next time? Perhaps for brunch?

Yes PLEASE

Yes PLEASE

I highly suggest making the trek, if you don’t want to walk like we did there is plenty of parking, or the NoMA metro stop is only a few blocks away. Sample everything you can, and come hungry — you wont be disappointed!

xE

Categories: Adventures, Food, Local Places | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chocolate Peppermint Pudding Cookies

Happy snow day from DC!!

capitol snow day

It’s my very first snow day since moving here – actually, it’s my first one since high school! Rochester was so pro at handling snow that we never had anything cancelled (a blessing and a curse). I used my snow day to sit tree-side, listen to Christmas tunes, watch bad daytime TV, and blog about these delish Christmas Cookies I baked this weekend!

20131210-143335.jpg

I always struggle to find a dessert recipe my mom will like since she doesn’t like anything with cream cheese, peanut butter, or too much vanilla. So this leaves me with chocolate. And lots of it. BUT, it’s harder than you’d think to find a super chocolatey recipe!

When I stumbled upon this recipe from I Heart Nap Time I was literally SO excited because it combined my mom’s love for chocolate with my brother’s love for mint – hello, perfect Christmas family recipe!

20131210-154100.jpg

20131210-154052.jpg

The perfect meal as far as I’m concerned

20131210-143505.jpg

I conducted a trial run this weekend and brought the cookies into work yesterday and they were a HUGE hit! The whole 2 dozen are almost all gone already! Keeping them frozen until just before sticking them in the oven, and then taking them out just before they were completely done baking made them super soft and I had people asking me what I did to create the “surprise fudge inside” – well, the surprise is I did nothing! The recipe is just THAT good.

We even caught Santa sneaking some early!

20131210-143326.jpg

Here is the recipe card so you too can wow friends, coworkers, and family with this delicious holiday recipe!

chocolate pepperming pudding

-S

Categories: DIY, Food | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com. The Adventure Journal Theme.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 514 other followers