Saffron Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

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For many years as an adolescent, I thought my ethnicity was pretty 50/50 straight-forward. Who doesn’t? What other information are we supposed to go off of other than what our family members tell us? My fathers side of the family is German-Italian, and my mothers side is Irish, so it was easy to conclude that this was the reason my skin burns within twenty minutes of sun exposure, as well as my unconditional love for bread, pasta and Italian cuisine in general. I took their word for it. My Italian ancestors are from the Northern Lake Como region (George Clooney has great taste–as if we didn’t already know) and I’ve been dying to visit for as long as I can remember. I cry whenever I stare at photos of Italy long enough, or watch a documentary about traveling in Italy (thanks Rick Steves). The bright colors, the fresh pesto, the rugged cobblestone streets, the overgrown ivy, the people, the philosophy of life. This is how badly my heart longs to breathe and experience the magical place that Italy is.

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Friday Favorites // Week One: June 2015

Ok, who else is feeling this mercury in retrograde craziness? Thank goodness this should all subside in about a week. I don’t wholeheartedly believe in the entire theory or astrology in general, but there are times like this when I do. I really, really do. Read this. The full moon this last Tuesday was supposedly the the most “dangerous” full moon of the entire year: “this is one of the handful of times of the year when Mercury rotates slower than usual and this creates the illusion that the planet is moving backwards”. I’ve been feeling a bit of a nut job lately. I haven’t been able to keep up with the days. I feel like it’s still the month of April. I put objects back in random places they shouldn’t go. I’m sleeping very soundly (which is super rare–take it from a professional insomniac) but am still fatigued during the day. Every night after work I’ve exhaustedly plopped down on the bed and napped with my cats. I had a random outburst of anger yesterday when the fridge wouldn’t shut properly and I broke a shelving bracket and a mason jar full of some unrecognizable red sauce I had no idea existed (it literally seemed to fall out of nowhere) and glass shattered everywhere. I dislike (mostly) everyone. Important papers are not getting to where they need to go. People are canceling their appointments left and right. The weather has been extremely bipolar–hot then rainy then back up to the 90s this weekend. Everyone seems to be in my way at the grocery store or stopping me from where I need to go. My nervous nilly boy cat Swayze barfed 3 times today. Big life changes for everyone around, it seems. I don’t care what anyone says–Mercury is definitely in freaking retrograde.

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Salted Peanut Butter Caramel Brownies

Salted Peanut Butter Caramel Brownies

For those of you that are unfamiliar, I have been an avid magazine collector forever and ever. Ever since I can remember aka. sometime around my pre-teen years. It started with my Spice Girls obsession — I begged my mom for every magazine they graced the covers of, and my best friend from elementary school and I would sneak them into our allotted 3rd grade “reading time”, obsessively flipping through the pages until they were crinkly and worn. Thus, I was inspired to collect and keep every. single. one. like they were souvenirs (because they totally were). You couldn’t dare me to ever part with one. They were gold. They were my Bible. If you asked my eight year old self what would be one thing I would want to have with me on a remote, desert island? The answer would likely have been a Spice Girl periodical. I can almost guarantee it. It was real. 

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Devil’s Food Cake Donuts with Rainbow Sprinkles

Devil's Food Cake Donuts with Rainbow Sprinkles

Oh my goodness, hello everyone! What a whirlwind of a week this last one has been. My hope is that you are all enjoying what is a slow 3 (or 2)-day weekend. I apologize for being a bit MIA, but between meeting up with friends and family members traveling through town, running a half marathon, working 10 hour days, and big, major life changes about to happen… there hasn’t been any room for creative time. I hate being vague, but for now I am going to leave it at that until I feel more confident and ready to explain my new life situation. The month of May has been a really good one, but flying by quicker than I can comprehend!

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Friday Favorites // Week Three : May 2015

Happy Friday, friends! This week went by so fast on my end thanks to taking a little extended weekend vacation (which I will post more about soon). And it’s just been a packed week ever since. I’m super pumped for the weekend–starting things off with a massage, then resting up until my Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon on Sunday! The last half marathon I completed wasn’t all that exciting route-wise, and I felt kinda crummy the whole time. But I have a good feeling about this one… I just know it. Besides, there will be rockin tunes the entire time so there will be good vibes.

I hope you all find some time to treat yourself this weekend and don’t fold too much of that piled up laundry. I know I sure won’t.

Here are some of my favorite things from around the web this past week:

+ These plates made particularly for smart phone food photographers! Genius.

+ 21 anxiety triggers. We are all not alone. I can relate to all of these in some way, shape or form.

+ Speaking of anxiety, turns out I’m a little more “Type A” than I initially thought. Check. Check. Check!

+ I’m always skeptical about fads, especially fad diet/lifestyles, but I’m curious about the Whole30 gig and this book in particular might be a good read

+ I feel like this has been a big topic lately, and one that I’m constantly asked about on a daily basis. It’s interesting how now that I’ve hit my mid-20s, I’m at my prime “child-bearing” age… and apparently there’s no hiding it. It’s getting to be a little over the top and exhausting how baby-bearing obsessed our society is. I respect any human to make their own decisions if they want children or not, just stop with the expectations that everyone values the same things that you do and don’t force your values someone else that just has different ones. They’re no better or worse. #endrant

+ 13 things no one tells you about owning a home. Ha.

+ U2 busks with Jimmy Fallon in the New York subway station… in disguise! So awesome.

+ These floral baked CHURRO donuts sound increddddible!

+ Why do I have a thing for painted wood and bead board? And light seafoam mint greens and blues? I can’t help myself. Also- copper, wood and forest green. Sigh.

+ How to judge a person by their ice cream choice. What does strawberry shortcake and Magnum double chocolate peanut butter say about me then? (Pretty spot on explanation, actually)

+ An interesting debate: to weigh or not to weigh your ingredients when you bake? I’m still undecided.

+ The mystery of motion sickness… unveiled.

+ Two things successful people have in common.

+ I ordered some packages of this coffee online and I can’t wait until it arrives! (I can’t believe I’m turning into a coffee nerd… I honestly never thought the day would come)

+ Speaking of the devil, these blueberry thyme bars would go great with a cup of coffee, me thinks.

+ Wes Anderson opened a cafe in Milan! But of course. Bucket-list worth of visitation.

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