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:


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


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!


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


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: , , , , , | 3 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.


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!



Quinoa Pizza Bites

What would you put in your bites?


Recipe adapted from: So Very Blessed

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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!


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!


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!


Recipe from: Julies Eats & Treats

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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!


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!



The perfect meal as far as I’m concerned


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!


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

chocolate pepperming pudding


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

Pumpkin Butter Cookies

Looking for the quickest, most fall-ish cookies ever to get you through the final few weeks before winter rolls in full-steam ahead? Trying to get in all of your pumpkin fix before switching over to apple and cinnamon for Christmas season? Well, we’ve got the perfect receipe for ya here!


I’ll openly admit that these aren’t my favorite cookies, but they’ll definitely do in a pinch! They’re simple, classic, and definitely seasonal. Sometimes I get wrapped up in trying to push so much flavor, ingredients, and layers into my baked goods (see Red Velvet Brownies for example) that I forget how delicious a simple cookie can be. This recipe is one of those rare times I went back to basics, and I definitely didn’t regret it. I think the lack of pictures will prove that these went fast! They were the perfect quick treat to whip up for my coworkers after one of our large events, and go great with a warm cup of coffee or tea (…well, everything goes great with a warm cup of tea in my book…but whatever). The only concern with these cookies is to be careful not to over-bake since the enjoyment really comes from the gooey-ness of them!


Pumpkin Butter Cookies

Happy simple eating for now! I’ll be returning soon with a more rich and chocolatey recipe for you all (think chocolate caramel brownies….mmmm).

xO – S

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

Monthly Catch Up

Big news everyone, this weekend I became an official DC resident!

If you follow us on instagram (or check our our new instagram feed sidebar! –>>) you’ll probably have seen some of these photos, but a catch up from September and the first week in October is probably in order. We’ve been moving and shaking here at LoL.. guests visiting, work travel, work in general, weekend fun & more!


Too cute,, right? Shes adoptable!

infact, S & I had to be dragged away NOT to adopt her..


mmm teds

you saw this recipe right?”

I’ve also ended up at eastern market EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND. It just never gets old…

I want them all


market goodies


perfect day

Its still been unbelievably warm in DC, considering that its October now. I’m ready for fall personally!


sidenote: some of the photos borrowed from Lindsay at but I was there.. so it still counts 😉

Categories: Adventures, DIY, Dogs, Just for Fun, Local Places, Travel, Work | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Mexican Quinoa

I keep telling myself that one of these days I’m going to learn how to cook meat properly. But until then I’m just going to make this Mexican Quinoa every week until I get sick of it. Which I think might be never.


When I first set out to make this dish, a lot of recipes I found called for fresh cilantro, freshly chopped garlic, and all kinds of fancy things. You should note here that I totally cut corners and ended up buying minced garlic and pre-chopped jalapenos in a jar. But hey –  you can’t blame me for trying to be budget and time conscious! Plus, I can promise you it doesn’t lose any of the flavor.

This stuff is so delicious! And it’s extremely filling – I think I’ve eaten it for at least one meal everyday in the past two weeks.The best part of recipes like this is that you can experiment and add and subtract ingredients easily based on your preferences. Below are some pictures of the quinoa before and after I added extra toppings. You can tell I tried to stay on point with the “Mexican” flavor by adding diced tomatoes, jalapenos, and black beans. But if that sounds like too much – you can easily substitute other veggies or ingredients.


Before Toppings


Adding a little extra kick 🙂

Mexican Quinoa

Delicious, filling, and easy to make – no excuses not to give it a try! Look out for lots more quinoa recipes in the future – now that I’ve become obsessed with it I don’t think I’m going to stop experimenting with it anytime soon!


Categories: DIY, Food | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Peanut Butter Lava Snickerdoodles

Get ready for some rich, melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness! This weekend I decided to take it easy and enjoy the simpler things in life. I cooked, watched movies, and even came up with a new cookie recipe. After searching multiple grocery stores for a certain type of pudding mix, I gave up on the idea of White Chocolate Pudding Cookies…but instead, I came up with these gems..


They may look like regular snickerdoodles, until you bust them open to a smooth peanut butter surprise! I basically just spooned out peanut butter in globs and froze them for about 30 minutes – note that it doesn’t matter if the globs are perfectly sized or rounded, since they will melt in the oven anyway. While the peanut butter balls are freezing, start prepping the dough. Once the peanut butter and the cookie batter are ready, wrap the batter around the frozen peanut butter and pop the new, larger cookie balls back into the freezer for a couple hours. Of course, you can also put them in a regular fridge, but I’m not patient enough for that. Chilling the dough is important because it’s what allows the cookies to become fluffy and thick, rather than fall flat, but I’m so unwilling to wait a whole 24 hours to enjoy so I cut corners a little and use the freezer to speed up the process. After the dough is sufficiently chilled, you can pop the cookie balls into the oven – easy as that! The peanut butter melts in the oven to become a delicious, gooey filling.


You’ll also notice that I’m using a new format for the actual recipe (scroll down to see)! I found that the line-by-line method is a little too hard to follow when actually cooking, so I decided to create a template that wold be easier to read for those who choose to reproduce the recipes.

Here are some more pictures followed by the recipe:


Peanut Butter Balls in the freezer

peanut butterballs

Cookie balls with peanut butter inside in the freezer


mmm finished products


peanut butter lava cookies

These are the perfect fall cookie and go great with a pumpkin spice latte 🙂 Try it out & let me know what you think! And of course tips on the new format are always appreciated as well!


Categories: DIY, Food | 2 Comments

Spicy Bean & Couscous Salad

I know I’m totally the opposite of most people when I say that I have less energy and drive in the summer. I prefer all things winter over summer in every sense. Cold. Darkness. Clothing. I don’t know what it is, but I live for those short, winter days where I have bounds of energy and feel like I can conquer the world. Food is no exception here. I generally don’t cook in the summer because it’s hot and I’m tired and I don’t want to work any harder than I have to. It’s just so much easier to throw some cucumbers on a salad and go out to a restaurant. However, I finally found a recipe that may change around my anti-summer cooking mentality.

It’s light, but filling, and super easy to make! Not going to lie, I first got the idea for this recipe from a side dish I bought at CVS when I didn’t have time to cook yet in my new apartment. But it was so delicious and looked relatively easy to replicate – so I gave it try!


If you know me, you may know that I’m not a big fan of measuring when I cook or bake because I’m a firm believer that all ingredients should be added ‘to taste’ – which means as much as you see fit for your particular cravings. For this recipe, I’ve included the measurements that I used, but if you do try it out, you should definitely tailor it to your tastebuds!

Here’s what you’ll need:
-1 cup Couscous
-1 1/4 cup Chicken Broth
-1/2 cup Yellow Corn
-3/4 cup Black Beans
-6 tbsp Olive Oil
-6 tbsp Vegetable Oil
-3 tbsp Lemon Juice
– 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
(this makes about 3 servings)



1. Bring the chicken broth to a boil
2. Slowly stir in couscous. Let boil about 2-4 minutes with pot covered.
3. Remove pot from heat, cover, and set sit. (The excess juice will be soaked into the couscous when you do this)




4. In a separate bowl, mix oils, lemon juice, and cumin
5. Pour wet ingredients into the bowl of couscous
6. Add in beans and corn to entire mixture
6. Salt and pepper
(Here you can add things like peppers, vinegar, cilantro, etc…I’m just tryin’ to stay on a budget here…so I stuck to the basics!)



Once you add the beans and corn, it actually becomes a full meal. I was surprised at how small of a portion it took to fill me! Here I thought I’d have to supplement it with something else, but I didn’t! I’m about to go eat some leftovers for lunch, and I’ll definitely be making this again in the very near future!

What summer recipes are your favorite?


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

Mint Cookies

For those of you that follow us on Instagram you may have seen the teaser picture of some cookies I posted last weekend and you might be wondering where those cookies have ended up. The answer is in the bellies of myself, my friends, and my coworkers. OOPS. However, I did salvage enough to take a few finished product pics and share the recipe with you all!

These cookies are some of my brother’s and my roommate’s favorite since they are mint flavored and deliciousssss. The green color is totally optional, but it does make them way more fun!


What you’ll need:
1 package of sugar cookie mix
1 stick butter or margarine (softened)
1 egg
1 tablespoon mint extract
Green food coloring
8 oz creme de menthe chips
8 oz chocolate chips


1. Combine softened butter, egg, and cookie mix in a large bowl


2. Add mint extract, food coloring, and chips
3. Mix until fully combined


4.  Roll into balls and place in fridge or freezer for cooling (at least 12 hours in fridge, at least 4 in freezer)
5. Pop them into the oven at 350 degrees – bake for 8-10 minutes and enjoy!



It’s as simple as that!

If the recipe looks familiar it is because I did post it here earlier (cheating, I know) – BUT I made a few updates and I wanted to share them with you all! I have a feeling I’ll be doing this fairly often  since I’m always looking to improve my recipes. This is especially due to the fact that I’ve made a few cookies over the past few weeks that have just been so delicious that I’m now finding it hard for my old favorites to even compare so it’s about time I do some updating – let me know if you have any suggestions!


Categories: DIY, Food | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

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