October 2016 archive

m&m and reese’s swirled sea salt cookies

Happy Halloween! These M&M Reese’s swirled sea salt cookies are just in time for Halloween and are also known as Halloween leftover cookies.

M&M and Reese's swirled sea salt cookies aka Halloween leftover cookies | www.passthecookies.com

M&M and Reese's swirled sea salt cookies aka Halloween leftover cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Are you ready for tricks and treats and costumes and candy galore? Our candy bowl is stocked and looks so good! The past two Halloweens have been a slight fail and we are hoping that this year will be better, since we know there are kids in our complex.

Our first Halloween together, Will and I decided last minute to dress up and go to Franklin Street. It was a great decision, but as we opened the door to walk out, two small costume-clad children came up our walkway. We quickly rushed back inside and closed the door so they could ring the doorbell and trick-or-treat. Since we lived in a small condo complex with only one family of children around, we didn’t expect trick-or-treaters and only had a bowl of Dove dark chocolates to offer (whoops). The next year, we bought candy, prepared for that one family of children to come by the door. We waited and waited and no one came. Not a single child. We were left with a lot of leftover candy, and made some delicious brown butter blondie brownie swirl bars to use it up (I definitely recommend them).

M&M and Reese's swirled sea salt cookies aka Halloween leftover cookies | www.passthecookies.com

M&M and Reese’s swirled sea salt cookies are a mouthful in name and taste. They are amazing and an awesome way to use up leftover candy. I shared some with family, friends, and coworkers, and made another batch to keep in the freezer. We just finished the last few last night, just in time to make room for the leftover Halloween candy from tonight! I may be more excited to make Halloween leftover cookies than I am for the actual festivities tonight.

M&M and Reese's swirled sea salt cookies aka Halloween leftover cookies | www.passthecookies.com

M&M and Reese's swirled sea salt cookies aka Halloween leftover cookies | www.passthecookies.com

The combination of the sweet milk chocolate, salty topping, peanut butter pockets and crunch from the candy coated M&M’s is unreal and so addicting. I used Reese’s cups and mini M&M’s, but you can totally use whatever leftover Halloween candy you have, just cut the candy bars into pieces. I love my regular oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, but while all of the candy is out this time of year, these have been my new go-to. I can’t get enough of the sweet and salty flavors together, and of the soft, chewy insides with the crunchy cookie edges. You will want to have leftover candy just for these. Or, you can go to the store tomorrow and buy all of the discounted candy to throw in them! Winner! Whichever you decide, you won’t regret it.

M&M and Reese's swirled sea salt cookies aka Halloween leftover cookies | www.passthecookies.com

M&M and Reese's swirled sea salt cookies aka Halloween leftover cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Have a happy Halloween!

M&M and Reese’s Swirled Sea Salt Cookies
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
10-12 ounces (1 bag) M&Ms or mini M&Ms*
1½ cups Reese’s cups (or other candy bars), roughly chopped
sea salt or kosher salt, for sprinkling

*I used milk chocolate but you could use whatever variety you have. The candy corn and other super sweet seasonal varieties might make the cookies too sweet, but peanut, peanut butter and pretzel ones would probably be amazing!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the brown sugar, sugar and melted butter. Add the egg and egg yolk and mix until fully incorporated. Mix in the vanilla.

In a separate medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the sugar and butter mixture until the mixture is almost fully combined but there are still a few streaks of flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and fold in the candy.

Roll the dough into 2-tablespoon balls and place about 1-2 inches apart on your prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle sea salt on the tops of the dough balls and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden. Allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes on the pans before removing them to completely cool. The cookies will set as they cool on the baking sheets, so don’t worry if the middle doesn’t look as done as the edges. The edges should not be completely brown, but the inside shouldn’t be too dough either.

These will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or frozen (then thawed out when you want to eat them) for up to 3 months, though I doubt they will last that long :).

Slightly adapted from Crepes of Wrath

link love

Happy weekend!!! In case you missed it, we drove to Nashville and back last weekend and our road trip to and through Tennessee is in Thursday’s post. It was so great and everywhere we went was beautiful! We are back to the usual working routine back home this weekend. I’m looking forward to later in November when Will and I don’t have to work weekends. Besides last weekend it has been forever since we both had the weekend off (almost since June for Will – that third year med school grind is rough). I’m excited to hole up at home tonight and get some fun projects done, but first, link love!

link love 10.29.2016 via how sweet it is

The internet was good to us this week and we have some lovely links below.

I have followed Joy the Baker’s blog for years and years, and LOVE her new digs and the concept of using her home as an intentional space where she can teach people her skills. Joy is the master of pie, bread and of course, Drake on Cake (I love the blown up photo of a Drake on Cake in her kitchen). Her decorating style is perfect and makes me wish I was closer to New Orleans so I could soak it in too.

Sometimes I take photos of multiple recipes in one day, but I have never done 15! This post on the planning behind Food 52’s cake parade is interesting and slightly comical. They took pictures of 15 cakes in one day – including some that were freshly baked and most that were freshly frosted! Talk about hectic.

Keeping with the food blogger theme that I just realized I have, this blogger just had an amazing redo of her pantry (room), including a shelf for her EIGHT Kitchen Aid mixers. Yes, eight. I’m not sure why you would ever need that many, but the candy colors do look pretty great on the open shelving.

I am always intrigued by ballerinas. They perform such beautiful dances, but the culture is intense and hard on the dancer’s body. This article gives a peek into the life of a prima ballerina, during her time as a dancer and after she retired from ballet at age 28.

Last, but not least, I love these thank you notes to Michelle Obama. She has been a different first lady than we were used to – willing to break into dance, to pick on her husbands flaws and make him seem more human while still showing her support of him and his role. She has shown girls what it means to have confidence and know that they too can achieve great things and she speaks authentically, intentionally, gracefully and powerfully, a reminder that she is Princeton and Harvard educated. I’m looking forward to this election season ending, but I’ll miss this new type of first lady when she leaves. You go, Michelle!

Are you completely ready for Halloween? Is it terrible that I still haven’t decided what to be? I have a few ideas, but it’s going to be a gametime decision. Happy early Halloween!

tennessee road trip

This past weekend Will and I went on a road trip to Nashville, Tennessee for a family wedding with his brother and his brother’s fiance. We stayed in the cute little town of Franklin, right outside Nashville, but made stops in Nashville and Knoxville on our way home. We didn’t get to see much, since the drive was so long and we were short on time, but we still made the most of our trip and enjoyed every place we went.

Tennessee October 2016-1

On Saturday morning our road trip crew plus Will’s mom and sister went to the nearby Factory at Franklin in search of the Five Daughters Bakery doughnut shop. The bakery was housed inside the historic building and surrounded by cute boutiques and restaurants. A large farmer’s market was taking place in the parking lot of the building, with tons of vendors and fresh, locally grown and raised foods. The inside of the factory was decorated with live trees and beautiful chandeliers juxtaposing the worn exposed brick walls, industrial metal railings and concrete floors. We only had the morning to explore, otherwise we would have spent hours there!

Tennessee October 2016-3

Tennessee October 2016-2

Above is the line for doughnuts! We can confirm that they lived up to the hype. There were so many great flavors to choose from, which made our decision difficult once we got to the counter. Eventually we picked 7 different flavors to split between the six of us.

Tennessee October 2016-4

Tennessee October 2016-5

Tennessee October 2016-6

We chose the maple glazed doughnut, vanilla cream doughnut, pumpkin spice doughnut, huckleberry doughnut with chestnut cream filling, smore’s doughnut with graham cracker cream filling, the cinnamon kouign-amann (called the “quinnamon”), and the orange kouign-amann (the “quinn”), all pictured below. The huckleberry icing was so vibrantly colored and we were surprised that almost all of the doughnuts had some kind of filling, even though they were light and fluffy and had holes in them. I also loved that they came in a pretty pink box :)

Tennessee October 2016-7

Tennessee October 2016-9

Tennessee October 2016-11

Tennessee October 2016-13

Tennessee October 2016-15

We spend most of the rest of the day and night at Will’s cousin’s beautiful wedding. I don’t have photos from that, because I always leave the photography to the hired photographers, since their photos are the ones that matter and are much better than I would take, but the whole event was gorgeous. It was an outdoor wedding set in the rolling hills amidst changing fall leaves that seemed to glow like fire when the setting sun hit them. Bistro lights strung from tree top to tree top above our heads at the barbeque reception, and personalized details graced every corner of the outdoor venue, that had been transformed from a cabin’s backyard. It perfectly fit the bride and couldn’t have been a more beautiful night.

We got on the road early on Sunday to head back home, leaving room for some stops along the way. Our first stop, of course, was Nashville! Since we didn’t have much time to explore (and didn’t really know what to explore), we set our priority to find a cute local coffee shop.

Tennessee October 2016-17

Barista Parlor in Germantown fit the bill perfectly. If/when we make it back to Nashville again I would absolutely go back to try the other great items on their menu and soak up the light-filled hipster shop. They are known for their bourbon vanilla latte (yes, it was delicious), but have a ton of biscuit sandwiches and other lattes that looked amazing as well. The collection of records to stock the record player in the built-in unit on the wall was as impressive as the beautifully wrapped (expensive) artisan chocolate on display, and the coffee contraptions that look like chemistry equipment. They mastered beautiful branding in every inch of the coffee shop – right down to the bottom of the mug that you only see when you finish your coffee. Aesthetics on point.

Tennessee October 2016-18

Tennessee October 2016-19

Tennessee October 2016-21

Our next stop on the long road trip back was Knoxville. About an hour before we arrived in Knoxville we started trying to find a place to eat lunch. Between the time change and the time of the day we were getting there it seemed like everything was going to be closed. As we got pulled into town we had low expectations of the city, until we pulled past entire streets of bustling sidewalk cafes. What???? We were pleasantly surprised and ended up seeing great parts of the city as we strolled from our parking spot near the theatre to the restaurant-filled square.

Tennessee October 2016-23

Tennessee October 2016-24

Tennessee October 2016-22

While it was a long trip, and most of our waking weekend was spent in the car, it was still totally worth it and filled with fun, family, great food, and beautiful fall scenes. Tennessee, you were wonderful, let’s meet up again (maybe for longer next time)!

double chocolate chip cookies

With one week until Halloween, these double chocolate chip cookies are helping me get into the dark, spooky spirit of the holiday.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies | passthecookies.com

I have never been that into Halloween and all of the spooky decorations, but I do love seeing all of the little kids, dressed up and so excited about their candy haul. Growing up, Halloween always felt like the first really cold night of the season (looking back now, that is probably just because I wasn’t outside at night for a long period of time until Halloween night, so I didn’t realize that other October nights were cold too). It was also DARK. No matter how early we went out, with the sun setting earlier and earlier by the end of October, the costume-and-candy-filled night was always dark and cold.  While it was so much fun, I was always glad to be inside the warm house at the end of the night, trading candy with my siblings on the bedroom floor.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies | passthecookies.com

The goal of these giant chocolaty cookies was to emulate the delicious Levain Bakery cookies my family and I tried while we were in New York a few months ago. They absolutely nail the dense, soft texture and perfect amount of sweetness, and are just as good as the real deal for those of us who aren’t near the Manhattan bakery. Though I stuck with the classic chocolate chips this time, you could also replace some, or all, of the chocolate chips with chopped up leftover Halloween candy (peanut butter M&Ms, Reese’s cups, and Snickers bars would probably be delicious!).

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies | passthecookies.com

These double chocolate chip cookies are the perfect deep dark chocolaty cookies for Halloween parties, or for nibbling on as trick-or-treaters diminish your candy bowl throughout the night. The dark color reminds me of the Halloween nights I spent going door to door for candy, and the chocolate pockets are reminiscent of the candy stash I came home with at the end of the night. They are an adult twist on Halloween goodies, and so so much better than the bottom-of-the bowl candy that is left after the kids pick out all of the good treats.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies | passthecookies.com

To make giant Levain-sized cookies, use the 2-3 tablespoon measurement for the dough balls. If you don’t want quite the indulgence, use a 1 tablespoon scoop instead. No matter the size or mix-ins, these cookies won’t disappoint for your Halloween (or any other day) treat.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup dark cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
¾ cup brown sugar, loosely packed
½ cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon espresso or strongly brewed coffee
2 cups chocolate chips

To Make Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cold butter until it clumps together and forms a ball. Add the sugar and brown sugar and mix until combined. Add in the eggs, one at a time and beat until they are both fully incorporated. Beat in the vanilla extract and espresso/coffee. The batter may not be smooth, which is fine. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture. Beat until the flour is almost combined but there are still a few streaks of flour-cocoa mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Roll the dough into 12 equal sized balls (about 2-3 tablespoons of dough) for large cookies, or 1 tablespoon-sized dough balls for smaller cookies. Refrigerate the dough balls for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the cookies about 4-6 at a time with 2 inches between each dough ball. Bake for 18-20 minutes (or 10-12 minutes for smaller dough balls), or until just set. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes before eating or serving.

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

link love

Happy Fall Friday. I am trying to be pumped up for the last day before the weekend starts, but I’m going to need some caffeine before that can fully happen. I am actually really excited for a trip we are taking this weekend, which has been serving as my motivation all week. Do you have big plans? I hear the fall weather is coming back and I am 100% ready to soak it up with hot apple cider in hand.

 

link love 10.21.2016

via

To get you through the last of the work week, enjoy a second cup of coffee and some link love on the side.

In all of my high school English classes we had to turn in our MLA-formatted paper outlines before writing the full paper. I haven’t done that in years, and had kind of forgotten about it, until I saw this MLA-formatted outline of Drake’s album. Maybe it is just because I have the memories of making these, but I think it is hilarious.

Last week we talked about the New Balance for J.Crew athletic line that J.Crew just launched. This week, we have something even cuter – Roald Dahl at Mini Boden. It is adorable! My favorites are The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda collections, in that order. I wish some of those clothes came in adult sizes, because I would totally wear some of the dresses and capes. So cute!

Today is the day! The Hamilton documentary airs on PBS tonight! I will be in the car and unable to watch it, but don’t doubt that I will find a way to watch it soon. It is supposedly more about history than the musical, but does have interviews from the broadway cast members as well as important political figures in the U.S. (think Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Paul Ryan, Elizabeth Warren, etc). I love history and have listened to the Hamilton soundtrack too many times to count, so I am excited to see what the documentary has in store.

In a time when we are totally surrounded by social media and comparisons, this post on stating what we like about ourselves is very powerful. Many of us spend more time criticising ourselves than appreciating the traits that make us great. So, what do you like about yourself? Something to think about this weekend.

And at the end of the rambling, a post on how to tell a great story without rambling on and on. Maybe I should keep a printed version of this with me?

Have a wonderful weekend!

pumpkin picking

Halloween is less than two weeks away, and while I haven’t even thought about a costume, I have all the pumpkins I could need.

Pumpkin Picking-1

Pumpkin Picking-3

A few weeks ago Will and I crossed one item off our fall bucket list when we went to a pumpkin patch where we were able to pick the pumpkins we wanted right off the vine! We’re not just talking the regular orange spherical pumpkins either; this field had Cinderella pumpkins, fairytale pumpkins, and pumpkins of all colors, shapes, sizes and textures. We weren’t expecting such a broad selection, which made searching for our perfect pumpkins even more exciting.

Pumpkin Picking-4

The pumpkin patch we visited was kind of geared toward children (but then again, aren’t most pumpkin patches?) and had lots of perks for parents with small kids. They had a miniature hay maze, slides, tractor rides, and lots of other cute activities. One great offering was a hayride that would take you out into the parts of the patch that were farther away, and pick you up if your pumpkin was too heavy to carry back to the entrance. We grossly underestimated how far the entrance was when we picked Will’s massive pumpkin and carried both of our pumpkins all the way back to the grassy parking field. I hadn’t felt so old until the next day when my neck and back were sore from carrying such a heavy gourd.

Pumpkin Picking-6

Pumpkin Picking-7

Most pumpkin patches charge you by the weight of your pumpkin. The patch we went to charges a flat rate to get in, but you can pick whatever size pumpkin you want. Will took this as a challenge to find the largest pumpkin in the patch, and that we did. I ended up getting a large green fairytale pumpkin, which was dense and heavy, but Will’s pumpkin was massive! I wish we had measured it on the scale, but it is at least 50 pounds!

Pumpkin Picking-8

Pumpkin Picking-9

Our pumpkin picking excursion was a success and such a fun date, and our home feels fall ready because of it!

Outfit details | Shirt: J.Crew, skirt: J.Crew Factory (similar here, here, here), Vest: J.Crew Factory (similar here, less expensive here), Boots: Hunter

pumpkin pie oatmeal with maple roasted pecans

Monday, Monday. After a busy, somewhat indulgent weekend, a good breakfast is a necessary way to start the new week. Pumpkin pie oatmeal with maple roasted pecans is filled with nutrients and flavor, with no refined sugars, so you can start your week off on the right fall footing.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal with Maple Roasted Pecans | passthecookies.com

I don’t even want to look at the forecast this week; it is just sad and frustrating. The temperatures were beautiful last week, and now we are back into the 80s for another week before it drops to the 60s. What is this roller coaster weather ride and when can we get off? Luckily our mornings are still cool enough to enjoy a bowl of warm pumpkin pie oatmeal before the day gets going.

These fall mornings are some of my favorite times of the year. I have loved being able to enjoy a warm cup of spicy chai tea with a splash of milk or almond milk, alongside this filling pumpkin pie oatmeal on cool mornings while the sun is still struggling to rise outside.  It feels like I am the only person in the neighborhood awake and the darkness and crisp temperatures make it even more tempting to curl up with something warm and ease my way into the day.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal with Maple Roasted Pecans | passthecookies.com

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal with Maple Roasted Pecans | passthecookies.com

October is absolutely (and obviously) the month of the pumpkin. After weeks of pumpkin desserts and pumpkin breakfast treats, it seems like a good time to add a nutritious option to the pumpkin mix. You can still add your favorite oatmeal toppings to this mixture, but the maple syrup pairs so wonderfully with the pumpkin spices in the oatmeal, and as a natural sweetener, is better for you than the typical brown sugar topping. Then there are the maple roasted pecans – such joy!

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal with Maple Roasted Pecans | passthecookies.com

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal with Maple Roasted Pecans | passthecookies.com

I love a little texture and some mix-ins in my oatmeal breakfasts, and while I usually just add plain toasted nuts, roasting them with a maple syrup and cinnamon mixture adds even more of a crunch, and an extra sweet treat to top off an everyday breakfast. They make it exciting to have a healthy breakfast on Monday morning!

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal with Maple Roasted Pecans | passthecookies.com

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal with Maple Roasted Pecans | passthecookies.com

Delicious, nutritious, and quick, this oatmeal only takes about 15 minutes to throw together, making it a great breakfast for both weekdays and weekends. You can make the amazingly golden, crunchy, fragrant maple roasted pecans while you wait for the oatmeal to cook, or make larger batch at the beginning of the week and get ready to head out the door while your oatmeal cooks. If you have really impressive preparation skills, you can make a pot of pumpkin pie oatmeal at the beginning of the week and heat up a serving each day, adding milk or almond milk to bring it back to life. It is so easy, so tasty, and still healthy on top of all of that. Yet another reason to love fall.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal with Maple Roasted Pecans | passthecookies.com

Pumpkin Oatmeal with Maple Roasted Pecans
Maple Roasted Pecans
½ cup pecans
1 teaspoon coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon coconut sugar (can use brown sugar instead)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
heavy pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of salt

Pumpkin Oatmeal
1 cup rolled oats
1 ¾ cups water, milk, or almond milk (plus more for topping, if you want)
¼ cup pumpkin puree
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
pinch of salt
2-4 tablespoons maple syrup (plus more for topping, if you want)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the Maple Roasted Pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F line a baking sheet with foil. Toast the pecans on the foil-lined baking sheet for 5 minutes.

While they are baking, add the melted coconut oil, coconut sugar (or brown sugar), maple syrup, salt and cinnamon to a small bowl and whisk to combine.

Remove the pecans from oven and add them directly to the maple syrup mixture. Toss gently to coat all of the nuts evenly, then return to the baking sheet. Bake for another 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Don’t try to remove the nuts from the pan until they have had at least a few minutes to cool.

To make the Pumpkin Oatmeal
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring water, milk or almond milk to a boil. Milk and almond milk will create creamier oatmeal than water will.

Once boiling, add a pinch of salt and the oats. Swirl the mixture to cover the oats with the liquid, then decrease the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 5-7 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the oats are tender. Stir once while the oatmeal is cooking to ensure that the oats are not sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Once the oats are finished cooking, remove the saucepan from the heat and add pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Stir to combine, then taste and add spices and syrup as needed.

Divide oats between serving bowls and top with maple roasted pecans, pepitas, apples, more maple syrup or milk, pumpkin butter, or whatever strikes your fall fancy.

Best when served fresh. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave, or in a small saucepan over medium heat until warm, adding more water or almond milk if the oatmeal is too dry (I always have to add liquid to revive them).

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal with Maple Roasted Pecans | passthecookies.comMaple roasted pecans were inspired by the spiced pecans we love in Sara Foster’s Southern Kitchen cookbook.

 

link love

Happy almost weekend! We’ve almost made it! Will and I are both working on Saturday, which makes the weekend seem a little farther away, but it is still just around the corner. The weather has been so beautiful here all week, and is supposed to continue into the weekend. I hope you can get outside and enjoy it if it is nice where you are too!

link love 10.14.2016
via pinterest

Now on with the link love!

After living in the Netherlands for a semester, and riding a bike EVERYWHERE, I learned to appreciate the safety measures the country had in place for cyclists. In many Dutch towns there are more bikes than cars, and sometimes more bikes than people! Not only do they have bike lanes on every street, they also have bike stop lights at the intersections, to ensure that bikes in each direction had the right of way at one point in the light cycle. Since everyone rides bikes in the Netherlands, it is not surprising that they are ahead of the US on bike safety. This article brings me right back to those Dutch riding days.

This article on social menopause in your twenties is hilarious. I have never been the friend to suggest going out, so maybe I hit this even earlier than others, but even among my friends there is a definite change from most people’s college-selves that I could see developing into social menopause. It is a funny read. 

On a more serious note, Hurricane Matthew came last weekend, and brought lots and lots of rain to North Carolina, on top of our already saturated ground from tropical storm Hermine. The rivers are still swollen and the flooding didn’t peak until mid-week, seriously flooding entire towns. There are many displaced people in our state, and lots who can’t afford to fix the problems caused by flooding in their homes. It is a sad sad scene.

As Hurricane Matthew came ripping up the East Coast last week, evacuations were issued in parts of Florida, and some of the coastal areas of North and South Carolina. During these massive natural disasters, we sometimes wonder why there are always people who don’t heed the warnings and evacuate. Yes, there are the stubborn ones, but some people can’t or aren’t in a position to leave.

Happier news this week included the release of New Balance for J. Crew’s athletic line. I love it. I can’t get over all of those polka dots and the pink leggings! Everything is so cute, as you would expect.

And last, but not least, if you are already preparing for Halloween (you’re ahead of me), these Snapchat filter Halloween costumes/makeup are so great. I love the butterflies, the dog with those classic ears, and the face finder (that one is probably my favorite haha). Let me know if you do one of them!

That concludes our link love for the week. Have a great weekend, lovelies!

fall foliage trips

Two weeks ago I visited a childhood friends in the mountains. It was the beginning of October but the leaves on some of the trees were already starting to change. With the cooler weather that has come this week, I keep looking around and thinking the trees should be more colorful here than they are. The combination of cooler weather and pumpkins everywhere surrounded by green trees makes me long for beautiful fall foliage that we see in photos every year around this time. The beautiful color-filled small towns of New England, pretty stoops and changing leaves in the cities, and orange, yellow and red spotted mountains are all so enticing. Last year I had the chance to be in New York in October and it was as perfect as the pictures look. I would love to take a fall foliage trip and spend time in some of the other beautiful towns and cities known for their fall charm. I have gathered a few places known for their leaf peeping below. Are there any great ones that are missing?

New England
I have seen photos of so many gorgeous places in New England that I would love to visit. From the main cities of Providence, New Haven, and Boston, to the small town main streets and quaint countrysides, all of the colors are incredible. I love seeing the brightly colored photos from these places and imagining that the streets here are filled with that many vibrant hardwood trees. Some great places to start are Stowe and Burlington, Vermont; Providence, Rhode Island; New Haven, Connecticut; and the Berkshires, Massachusetts.

Fall Foliage Trips - New England

Fall Foliage Trips - New England

Boston
We couldn’t go through New England fall foliage without singling out Boston. With so many sites to see and so much history, it is always a great place to visit. But, it looks especially beautiful in the fall when the leaves on the trees in the Public Gardens and Boston Commons are changing. Not to mention the fall foliage against the gorgeous buildings at Harvard, along the Charles River and in Cambridge. (more…)

pumpkin pop tarts with brown butter maple frosting

How happy would you be if someone handed you a pumpkin pop tarts with brown butter maple frosting as you were running out the door in the morning? They are the perfect cure for the Mondays.

Pumpkin Pop Tarts with Brown Butter Maple Frosting | passthecookies.com

My siblings and I only had pop-tarts on vacation and at our grandparent’s house when we were growing up, so picking out the flavors was always a big deal. Pumpkin pop-tarts didn’t exist at the time; otherwise you better believe we would have picked those every time. We usually brought home s’mores, chocolate fudge, or chocolate chip cookie dough – always iced, of course. Now that I am older pop-tarts never taste as good as I remembered – but homemade pop tarts, on the other hand, are so so delicious, and amazingly easy! (more…)

1 2