Thank you for spending your "coffee break" with me â€“ whether that's coffee, tea, wine, or none of the above is up to you! My name is Jennie and I am a 26-year-old young professional from Northern Vermont. I spend most of my free time reading, cooking, running, painting, drooling over fashion magazines, and spending time outdoors with my husband, Adam, and our eight-year-old black lab/German Shepherd mix, Nana.
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I am so ready for the weekend, friends. This has been a long week and I’m exciting to sit back, relax, and enjoy a few days off. I thought I would round up a few of my favorites from this past week to help me focus on the positive. 1. My husband and I are… Continue reading Five Friday...
I am so ready for the weekend, friends. This has been a long week and I’m exciting to sit back, relax, and enjoy a few days off. I thought I would round up a few of my favorites from this past week to help me focus on the positive.
1. My husband and I are going to go car shopping this weekend – we’re looking for another SUV to replace his Altima that’s not the greatest in the snow (we live in Vermont, after all) – so that should be fun. Ever since I was about 10 years old my dream car has been this:
That, my friends, is a Saab 9-3 Convertible in Metallic Lime Yellow. It needs to be that color for me to even remotely like it. If I could find an SUV that color…yeah, it would move to the top of my list – #priorities.
2. Meal planning this week has been going extremely well. I made a vegetarian lasagna that lasted for lunch all week. I used Gardein beefless crumbles in the sauce and even my carnivore husband can’t even tell the difference between that and the Bolognese I used to make. Adam took initiative yesterday and made the dinner I planned for us – Hot for Food’s creamy vegan mushroom fettuccine alfredo.
Adam has tried to make dinner before. Usually his concoctions are just okay, but sometimes he really fails miserably. This is a running joke between the two of us – maybe one day I’ll share the story of “Woodchuck Chicken.” What a disaster. This, however, was the best meal he’s ever made – and it’s vegan! I need to give Lauren and John 98% of the credit, but…Adam gets that 2%
3. I am definitely more of a dog person than a cat person, but I have an inexplicable love for shoes with cat faces on them. I should also note that my fashion taste is more “Champagne” while my actual budget is”Arbor Mist” – so I am really lusting after this pair of Charlotte Olympia flats:
I also love these Kate Spade flats, so if you’re a size 9.5 take a look. Kate Spade also does a cat-themed loafer – you can find that style here. If these fit your budget, Neiman Marcus is offering a coupon right now (you can save $50 on a $200+ or $100 off a $400+ purchase by using code NMSAVE at checkout). For my budget-conscious cat-lovers out there: if you’re a fan of ankle straps this pair is a good save! I’m not, so if you find a cat-themed pair of flats sans-straps for under $100, let me know in the comments below!
4. I keep this quotation at my desk. It helps remind me to keep my head above the negativity. I always make sure to try to start every day new, and to leave the previous day’s drama behind. Sometimes it works, sometimes I struggle. As long as I keep coming to work with a smile on my face, I’ll call it a win.
5. Of course we’ll end on a coffee note Adam bought a massive pack of chocolate Carnation Breakfast Essentials at Costco a month ago, so when I ran out of my Optimum Nutrition protein powder I decided to try them out. I’ve been following the following recipe and it’s been a great morning treat. It keeps me full until around 11AM, when I have to have a snack – usually a piece of fruit, like an apple or a banana – or I won’t make it to lunch without turning into a crabby witch (just telling it like it is – I get hangry fast).
Iced Coffee Breakfast Smoothie
1 packet (or 1 serving/1 scoop) Carnation Instant Breakfast/protein powder (I like chocolate, but I would think any flavor that’s not fruity would work – but hey, if you want to try strawberry coffee, go ahead. That’s just not my cup of tea).
8oz (1 cup) cold brew coffee (or leftover coffee you’ve chilled overnight in the fridge. I won’t judge!)
4oz (1/2 cup) almond milk (I prefer this brand, Califia Farms, because I hate cartons – #truelife). I use the original flavor most often, because I always have some in the house. I’ve also used the toasted coconut and that is also delicious!
To taste: any flavored creamers, vanilla extract, almond extract, etc. you want
4-5 ice cubes
Put all of the above ingredients in a blender and…blend. Enjoy!
Quick note – if you have a leftover handful of spinach or kale, you can add that to this recipe and you will not taste it in the smoothie. Just something to keep in mind if you are cleaning out your fridge and are wondering what to do with twenty spare leaves of green.
That’s it for today, I think. I would love to know what your favorite foods/moments/things were this week – let me know in the comments below!
Have a wonderful weekend.
Best – Jennie
I’ll admit it: I’m a huge fan of pumpkin spice. If that makes me “basic” – well, I don’t really want to be complicated. However, even I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of pumpkin flavored/pumpkin themed recipes floating around during fall. Sometimes I crave the warm, inviting flavor that pumpkin spice offers –… Continue reading Autumn Spiced Coffee...
I’ll admit it: I’m a huge fan of pumpkin spice. If that makes me “basic” – well, I don’t really want to be complicated. However, even I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of pumpkin flavored/pumpkin themed recipes floating around during fall. Sometimes I crave the warm, inviting flavor that pumpkin spice offers – without the squash. Enter: Autumn Spiced Coffee.
This recipe is super easy, and can be accomplished multiple ways. I will explain how I did it using my French press, but then below I’ll add some notes that will let you modify this DIY.
Autumn Spiced Coffee – serves 2-4 depending on how big your mugs are
2tbsp coffee of choice – I prefer anything dark roast, but I have a ton of Green Mountain Dark Magic on hand, so that’s what I used
2tbsp loose-leaf Chai (or 1-2 bags) – I used Oprah Chai from Teavana since that’s what I had on hand. I’ve also used Chai from Trader Joe’s before, so don’t fret over the quality of your tea
Sugar, to taste – I used a teaspoon of rock sugar from Teavana (I swear this isn’t sponsored…) because again, it’s just what I had in my cupboard
Milk – I used a can of lite coconut milk, but use whatever you have on hand/whatever you prefer. I just like the flavor the coconut milk adds
Boil water, or turn your Keurig on to heat up around 16oz of water. Put all the ingredients (except the milk) into your French press, pour over the hot water, and let steep for 4-5 minutes. Add milk, and press. Pour, sip, and enjoy!
I typically boil water when using my French press, but I will resort to using my Keurig to heat up water when I’m impatient/in a hurry/desperate for a drink. That being said, you don’t need a French press to make this recipe. You can:
1. Use Keurig + K-cup of your choice to make a cup of coffee. Before drinking, steep 1 (or 2, if you really love the flavor!) chai bag in the hot coffee. Discard hot tea bag, add coconut milk/whatever milk you have/coffee creamer/sugar to taste. Enjoy.
2. Make a pot of coffee (assuming 4 cups) however you like. Add 4 bags of chai to the pot. Brew. Discard tea bags. Pour. Add whatever you like. Enjoy.
3. Make a pot of coffee (assuming 4 cups here also) however you like. Add 4 tbsp of loose leaf chai directly to the grounds. Brew. Pour Add whatever you like. Enjoy.
4. Increase coffee and chai to 4 tbsp each. Slightly reduce the amount of water to 12-14oz. Do not add milk. Press. Pour over ice. Top with chilled milk of choice. Voila – iced spiced coffee!
Let me know in the comments below if you made this and what you thought!
Best – Jennie
I don’t have much planned for today besides packing for my trip to Detroit this week (I’m there Monday through Saturday for a trade show and customer visits). My company finally invested in polos for women (it was a laugh last year when they asked me to wear a men’s-sized polo), so I don’t have to… Continue reading Apple Cider...
I don’t have much planned for today besides packing for my trip to Detroit this week (I’m there Monday through Saturday for a trade show and customer visits). My company finally invested in polos for women (it was a laugh last year when they asked me to wear a men’s-sized polo), so I don’t have to worry about my outfits at all (except for deciding whether or not I want to wear fuchsia dress pants with my cobalt blue shirt – thoughts?). I do have to figure out how I’m fitting everything in my carry-on (I loathe checking bags), since I’ve been asked to take some product literature, samples, and new business cards for the guys on the plane with me.
So what was I up to this morning? This:
One of the things I miss about living in Pennsylvania (where I’m from), is TARGET! We don’t have one here in Vermont – and yes, you read that right. There are zero Target stores in Vermont. As a treat, my husband will sometimes offer to take a trip over to Plattsburgh, NY (about an hour away from us) so I can satisfy my Target addiction. The struggle is real I bought this coffee (along with three others…) during a sale last week. It is lightly flavored – not too overwhelmingly “apple” – in fact, I taste cinnamon spice and a general sugary sweetness more than apple. In my opinion, that’s a good thing. I like apple cider, but I don’t think I’d like that in my coffee.
Since I like my coffee strong, I mix 3 tbsp of lighter/flavored roasts with 3 tbsp of espresso-blend (any kind will do – I think the one in my cabinet right now is Lavazza, and it is quite smooth) for 2 to 2 1/2 cups of coffee, depending on how big my mug-of-the-day is. If you love coffee but have never used a French press – you just have to get one and try it. Obviously there are expensive models, but most are relatively cheap – I’ve found ones on Amazon for less than $15- see here. I’m pretty sure the one above was between $15-$20.
To learn how to use a French press, check out Bon Appetit’s feature. I’ll also link the video below. I usually buy coffee at the grocery store and use the in-store grinder to create the coarse grind recommended for the French press – but honestly, I’ve used finely-ground coffee before (like the Apple Cider Donut coffee pictured above) and I’ve never seen/tasted a problem. I’m sure coffee connoisseurs would heartily disagree with me One thing I will note: I use a wooden spoon to stir my coffee in the French press. I’ve heard more than a few horror stories of people using metal spoons and cracking the glass. Just a tip!
I hope you’ve all had a relaxing weekend. Check back later – I think I’m going to do some virtual window-shopping today and compile a few of my favorite picks of the week.
Best – Jennie
Fall is my favorite season. As the first weekend after Labor Day, this is officially (in my opinion) the first weekend of FALL! Adam and I have semi-planned a day of fall adventures – there may be more pictures to come later. For right now, I thought I would share an amazing breakfast treat! I… Continue reading Saturday Morning...
Fall is my favorite season. As the first weekend after Labor Day, this is officially (in my opinion) the first weekend of FALL! Adam and I have semi-planned a day of fall adventures – there may be more pictures to come later. For right now, I thought I would share an amazing breakfast treat!
I adapted the recipe from Lauren’s post here. Since it is just the two of us, I didn’t want to make 3-4 dozen cookies, so here is what I did to cut down the recipe:
Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies for Two (or Three, if you feel generous)
Preheat oven to 350F
Mix the following together in a medium-size bowl:
1/8c butter (2tbsp)
1/8c coconut oil
1/8c 100% pumpkin puree (I use Libby’s)
1/4c granulated sugar
1/8c powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla – I use this vanilla paste in all my baking, you could also use beans or extract
1/2 egg (yeah I know, 1/2 an egg?!…Here is what I did: I scrambled an egg in a little ramekin and tossed half in the batter. I microwaved the other half to quickly cook it and then gave it to my dog with her breakfast)
1c all purpose flour
dash of salt, as much pumpkin pie spice as you want (I probably used 1-2 tsp)
After lining a baking sheet with parchment paper, lightly dust your hands with flour. Form the cookies into six balls, flattening the cookies between your palms. Put them on the baking sheet, and place in the 350F oven for around 10 minutes (I generally recommend starting to watch them around minute 8. Your oven might work differently than mine, and you don’t want this cookies to burn – they are too good).
For the glaze – mix 3/4c powdered sugar in a bowl with 1 tbsp water. You can add vanilla paste (I did!) or pumpkin pie spice to flavor the glaze. When the cookies are out of the oven, drizzle the glaze over the top. Or spoon it on. Or pour it on. Whatever you prefer. You will have more glaze than you need, so if you aren’t a glaze fan you could either cut this recipe in half or omit the glaze altogether (the cookies will still be delicious). The glaze will begin to harden. You can wait to eat these cookies…or, you can grab a cup of coffee (I recommend pumpkin spice flavored…it is fall after all!) and go to town.
Without the glaze, the nutrition info (from MyFitnessPal) is approximately (per cookie):
175cal, 8g fat (5.6g saturated), 9.9g sugar, 2.4g protein, 23.6g carbohydrates
Speaking of food…I’m a big fan of cooking shows/cooking videos. My recent favorite has been Jamie Oliver. If you want to know what I’m craving for dinner (I may very well overdose on carbs today), here’s a hint:
Best – Jennie
A "few" of my favorite pictures from my August, 2016 vacation to Charleston, SC.
I had such a great time in Charleston, SC. It’s a truly beautiful area and so different from Vermont (especially the humidity! Wow!). I couldn’t have asked for a better 26th birthday present from myself My favorite part was the food – that shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows me at all. I eat vegetarian 90% of the time, but decided to take a break from my herbivore habits to take some risks and step outside of my comfort zone (I tried beef tartare. It was different – delicious, but different). Here is a gallery that showcases my favorite moments from my trip. Best – Jennie
Some of my favorite blogs do this sort of summary every month and I think it’s a great way to tell you a little bit about myself. What We’re Eating This Week We’re getting serious about meal planning over here in Vermont. My husband is a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy; I’m more of a vegetable korma… Continue reading What’s Up...
Some of my favorite blogs do this sort of summary every month and I think it’s a great way to tell you a little bit about myself.
What We’re Eating This Week
We’re getting serious about meal planning over here in Vermont. My husband is a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy; I’m more of a vegetable korma kind of girl. That means we were eating a lot of separate meals for dinner, which really racked up the grocery bill. In an effort to become more health-conscious (and get my husband to eat the same food I do), I’ve recently decided to try to take some of his favorite foods and make them healthier. My favorite way to gather new recipes? That would be Pinterest.
What I’m Reminiscing About
My husband and I celebrated our three-year wedding anniversary in early August. Since then, I’ve been thinking a lot about our honeymoon. We stayed at a bed and breakfast in Maine. It was the first real vacation we ever took together, besides visiting my mother in Orlando, Florida. We bought flavored vinegars and olive oils at Leroux Kitchen in Portland – I found an empty bottle in our cabinet today and thought about how nice it would be to go back there – maybe this time we could take our pup, Nana (the B&B we stayed in a few years ago was totally pet-friendly)! Something to consider for next year.
What I’m Loving (combining with What I’m Watching/Reading!)
Do you want to read self help books but hate how lofty they tend to be? Not this one. The author, Jen Sincere, is totally down-to-earth (and more than a little sassy) which makes for an easy read. I recommend to anyone looking for an extra dose of motivation.
Parks & Recreation! Something I love about Netflix is that it lets me watch shows that I didn’t know about/appreciate when they were on cable TV. Admittedly, when I say “watch” I mean “leave on in the background while reading and/or browsing Pinterest,” but hey…that’s just me. I have a poor attention span when it comes to TV.
What I’m Working On
Painting my bookshelves! I inherited some old bookcases from my mother years ago when she was cleaning out an old classroom. They are brown, which does not fit into my decor at all – but I’ve kept them as-is because I just never had the time to paint them. Well I decided to make the time – I’ve already painted one of two bookcases, and I love the way they look. I was inspired by this picture (another pinterest find):
What I’m Listening To
Bayside’s new album, Vacancy. My favorite songs so far are “Mary” and “It’s Not as Depressing as it Sounds.” So good!
What I’m Wearing
Last month, I went to Charleston, SC on vacation and bought a similar pair of earrings to commemorate my trip. It was the first time I ever went somewhere by myself – it was also my first time using AirBnB, which I was nervous about! I had the time of my life and loved exploring a new place on my own. I have a ton of pictures from the trip that I might upload to a gallery – I will link it here if I get around to it!
What I’m Looking Forward to Next Month
The Stowe Foliage Arts Festival, which is October 7-9 this year.
Also, the following: Autumn! Orchards! Foliage season! Pumpkins! Halloween! Glogg! Scarves! Fireplaces! Fall-flavored coffees, of course.
I hope this helped you learn a little more about me! Enjoy the rest of your day.
Best – Jennie
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