Archive of ‘Uncategorized’ category

8 artists i’m loving lately

I have been on the lookout for a print or piece of art for a blank wall of our guest bedroom for almost a year now. My search has taken so long partially because I’m picky and want the piece to be perfect, and partially because I know it will be an investment and if I’m going to spend a good amount of money I want to LOVE it. On this quest to find my dream artwork, I have found some great artists, some of them small, some of them more well known. There are many more out there that I haven’t had the chance to see, but I wanted to share some of my recent favorites.

8 Artists I'm Loving Lately | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.comphoto via Brooke Chamblee

Melody Joy McMunn – Melody Joy Art is my current art crush. I am a sucker for a good abstract, especially when it involves blues, and she has so much beautiful work in that category. I have my eye on one of her pieces and a birthday coming up, so we’ll see how it turns out ;)

Morgan Rollinson – Morgan is a local artist in the Triangle. Though I’m sure she doesn’t remember me, I actually met Morgan briefly at the Southern Weddings gingerbread barn building competition when she was working for the company. I love her fun citrus and greenery paintings (locals, find her work at FINDS in Raleigh).

Rachael Bush – Rachael is another local Triangle artist (locals, you can find her at the Midtown Farmers Market in North Hills). Though I don’t know her personally, I went to middle school and college with her cousins. Her abstracts, florals, and beautiful calligraphy always get me heart-eyed.

Anna Vaughn – The third and final local Triangle artist in this post, Anna Vaughn dubs herself a Southern expressionist artist, and creates beautiful abstract landscapes (locals, find her work at ArtSpace in Raleigh until April 28th!). I love how she uses unexpected colors and brushstrokes to depict landscapes in different ways. And an interesting fact: she and Rachael Bush (above) are related!

Blakely Made – Moving a little further south to Charleston, we find Blakely Little of Blakely Made. I’m not sure how I found her, but have followed Blakely on Instagram for a long time. I love her fun take on sailboats, landscapes, and monochromatic scenes. The marshy landscapes and front porch railings in her paintings take me right to the Charleston shores where she paints.

Theresa Losa – Theresa Losa is a more well known artist than some of the women listed above, selling some of her artwork at Serena and Lily. While her pieces are definitely out of my budget, and not quite in my decorating scheme, her linear and abstract ski and swim paintings are so fun and so original!

Kim Collinson – Another wonderful abstract artist is Kim Collinson. I love her style and the way she layers the paint on her canvases. Her work is sold on One Kings Lane and Serena and Lily, and is again well out of my price range, but still so beautiful to admire.

EMYO – The last artist on the list is Emily of EMYO. Emily is an impressionist who creates gorgeous scenes and fun florals typically with more muted, but beautiful, colors. I love her boat and park scenes.

loving lately

I’m popping in for something I haven’t done in a while: a quick round up of things I have been loving lately. These are totally random, but have caught my eye lately so I thought I would share!

Loving Lately: Cadbury Mini Eggs | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

1. Ruffle sleeved floral dresses. Everytime I see a floral spring dress I think of the line in The Devil Wears Prada, “florals for spring? Groundbreaking.” While that sarcastic statement plays out in real life every year, I am a sucker for this beautiful floral shirtdress at LOFT, this navy ruffle sleeve floral dress from Draper James this year.

2. Athleta leggings. I have been on the hunt for a new pair of cropped or mesh panel leggings, and love so many of the pairs Athleta has out right now. This pair, this pair, and this pair are top cropped contenders, and this long pair and this 7/8 pair are making me want to change my mind about the length. The stripes are probably my favorite, which is absolutely no surprise to anyone who knows me.

3. Found/Tonight. I have been listening to this song Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt made together in support of March for Our Lives on repeat. Listening to this song with the speeches and images from the March for Our Lives is so moving.

4. Cadbury mini eggs. As you may have been able to tell, I am on a Cadbury mini egg kick. They are only out for a little longer, so us Cadbury mini-egg lovers have to get them while we can!

5. Lake pajamas. This long-short set in mini-stripes

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marathon training and tips for setting (and achieving) big goals

Back in the fall, I signed up for a marathon. 26.2 miles. Before training for this race, the farthest I had ever run were half marathons. Over the past few years I have run three half marathons, the last one in 2015 in Brooklyn with a group of good friends, many who had never run a half before. When I finished that race I thought to myself, I think could keep going for a few more miles, not double what I had just done, but a few more. The thought of running a marathon was so daunting, but felt more achievable in that moment than it ever had before.

Marathon Training and How to Set (and Achieve) Big Goals | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Fast-forward almost exactly two years to October 2017. I was actively refreshing my screen to track one of my friends who was running the Chicago Marathon. This same friend ran the Brooklyn half with me and had never run a half marathon before that race. So impressive (go Avery!)!

I had been thinking about signing up for a marathon for a few months, and even looked into different races and courses, but hadn’t actually made concrete plans to run any of them. In my experience with racing in both the fall and spring, I knew I much rather do long runs in the cold winter weather than in the blazing hot, humid North Carolina summers, but to do a spring marathon, my training time would have to start soon. The renewed inspiration from watching this amazing friend in the Chicago Marathon prompted me to really dig into my race search and actually make a decision. Within a few days, I signed up for a March marathon in D.C. and dove into training, building up my miles each week.

Marathon Training and How to Set (and Achieve) Big Goals | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Training for this race was such a learning process about what I can do and what my body needs in order to accomplish these long runs, but was also amazingly empowering. I had never run anything longer than 13.1 miles and was afraid of the longer runs leading up to the race. When I broke the 16-mile barrier I immediately felt better about marathon training, and felt so proud of what I could accomplish! Each week after that was longer than I had ever run, but setting my mind to it, mapping out a course ahead of time, talking through my route, and gathering all of the supplies I needed to feel like I was prepared made me feel like these were milestones I could accomplish!

This past weekend I ran 26.2 miles. It was long and I was sore during, and still a few days after the race, but I did it – I ran a marathon! I was both nervous and excited going into the race, but mostly excited. I was not going for a specific time, just for safe completion. Before I left for D.C. on Friday, a coworker told me that completing a large goal like this takes ambition, perseverance, courage, determination, hard work, and planning, and that these are things I should be proud of whether or not I finished the race, and completing the 26.2 miles would be the cherry on top. In the races I have run in the past I would have felt frustrated and like I was a disappointment if I didn’t finish the race within a certain time, but marathon training taught me that we are capable of doing so much, and should be proud of all parts of our accomplishments, even just the long training runs along the way.

Marathon Training and How to Set (and Achieve) Big Goals | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

I am by no means a marathon guru, but I like to think of marathon training and prep as I would other large goals on my list. With that in mind, these are a few tips I have found useful in setting and achieving big goals:

Make a plan and take action steps on it
Decide a timeline for when you want to achieve your goal. For a race like this that included looking at how long I would need to train, when I wanted to train (winter or summer), and where the races were located. Once I had planned out the timing my action steps were registering for a race and beginning to train.

Write out the smaller steps you need to take to achieve your goal
Once I decided to run a marathon and signed up for one, I needed to put in steps to make sure I achieved that goal. I looked up a training plan and wrote in all of my runs in my planner and put the long runs in my iCal. This might sound overboard, but I had to make sure I had enough time blocked off on those weekends when I had to complete those really long runs. This also helped my weekday planning because I knew when I needed to shift my running scheduled to accommodate dinners with friends and family or evening work events. I didn’t get to the end of the week upset about what I wasn’t able to accomplish because I had planned ahead and made time for each run.

Get prepared
I mentioned a few of the things that helped me before my long runs were mapping out my run (I use mapmyrun.com) and gathering all of the supplies I needed. I listen to podcasts on my long runs, so part of my preparation was to find and download podcasts I wanted to listen to, and make sure I had enough to cover the amount of time I would spend running so I didn’t have a spurt of silence at the end. I like to get more than enough Gu packets, fill a handheld water bottle, and gather all of my rain gear before my long runs. Running a few of my long runs in the rain instead of waiting for sunny days also helped me feel more prepared in case I have to deal with nasty weather on race day.

Start (and keep going)
To achieve a new goal, you have to start somewhere. We have all heard the saying “a year from now you will wish you had started today.” Start now, friends! What is stopping you?

I follow Cultivate What Matters, a company dedicated to helping others achieve their goals, on Instagram. As I scroll, I often see one of their slogans, “little by little, progress adds up,” pop up in those little squares. This is true for all of our big goals, but it is visibly and tangibly true in race training. You start the training plan with smaller, single-digit miles and add one or two to your runs each week, until a few months later you are up to 26.2 miles! You can see visible progress when you look at the number of miles on paper, and feel tangible progress through your accomplishment and your sore legs when you finish those long runs.

Running a marathon isn’t something that everyone wants to do, but it certainly a good metaphor for those other large goals you might have that just haven’t come to fruition yet. It is hard to start with such a lofty end goal in mind, but with some preparation, doable action steps, and the encouragement to start and not stop, you can accomplish those goals, too!

Thank you for supporting me as I continue to chase my goals :)

2018 March Goals | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

march goals

After two months of feeling behind and busy, I finally feel like I have a better grasp on my routine. Two months may sound like a long time just to feel settled, but this year has thrown a few unexpected curveballs and it has taken a while to get used to all of the changes those brought and feel ready to run the bases at full-speed ahead again. I’m excited for all that March has in store, but especially the warmer weather and longer days. I love all four seasons and am grateful to live in a place where we get a true spring, summer, fall, and winter, but at the end of winter and summer I find myself yearning for the next season. Spring and fall have always been my favorite in this North Carolina climate – the colors, temperatures, and outdoor activities are wonderful and encouraging. Coming off of a winter with more snow than usual for our area, I can’t wait until spring is here again! I have some big goals this month (one in particular), but just as I’m excited about the start of a new season, I’m excited to see what I can accomplish. Let’s do this!

2018 March Goals | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

February Goals
– Celebrate a wedding and mini reunion weekend with college friends! – Yes, this was so, so fun! It was wonderful to catch up with good friends!
– Stay on track with race training (more on this later). – Yes! See March goals below for more :)
– Do meal prep at least two weeks of the month. – I meal planned every week (success!), and meal prepped two weeks of the month. It is still hard to prioritize, but baby steps help!
– Wake up early enough to enjoy a slow morning before work at least two days a week. – I did really well at this at the beginning of the month, but I let the Olympics throw off my sleep schedule and was terrible at it for the rest of the month.
– Finish editing photos from Paris and post at least one Paris post. – Even though technically the post went live on March 1st, I’m giving myself some grace and counting this one because it was ready to go live on February 28th but I got caught up and wasn’t able to post it during the day.
– Watch some of the Olympic medaling events! – Yes, yes, yes! I love the Olympics, and while the Summer Olympics can sometimes be more exciting, I loved seeing some of the snowboarding, skiing, and figure skating medal rounds!
– Complete our annual budget review – We reviewed and updated our budget – now to stick to it!
– Do something fun! – We went on a spontaneous date to the new Guglhupf Bake Shop between church and grocery shopping one Sunday and had the most delicious almond schnecke (the German version of a croissant). I’m not typically a very spontaneous person, but it was so fun.

March Goals
– Celebrate Will’s birthday!
– Cut sugar for one week (I have gotten into a bad habit of wanting something sweet daily).
– Wake up early enough to enjoy a slow morning before work at least two days a week. “Slow morning” meaning I have at least 15 minutes of free time before/after getting ready for the day.
– Run a marathon!!! Eek! I’m so excited and so nervous about this one, but I have done my best to train for it over the past few months.
– Enjoy our weekend in D.C.
– Do core strengthening exercises at least twice a week. Because I have been focusing on running lately, I haven’t been very good at incorporating other exercises. I know core strengthening will help prevent injuries and improve my balance while running and while going about my days.
– Post the rest of our Paris pictures.
– Do less Instagram scrolling. There are so many other things I could be doing, but I have gotten into the habit of checking Instagram whenever I am on the bus, walking home, or waiting for something (i.e. water to boil, bus to arrive, etc.). I know I could be more productive if I wasn’t directing my attention to the app.
– Print and frame photos from Paris.
– Get in bed by 11:00 pm four nights a week. I would love to add “get more sleep” to this list of goals, but I’m going to start small with the task of just getting in bed. If this is successful, maybe next month we can graduate to actually getting more sleep ;)

2017 favorites

As 2017 comes to an end and we look forward to 2018, I enjoy looking back at some memories from the year. My word for the year was growth. As I reflect on the year’s events, I fell like I accomplished this goal in both my personal and professional life. 2017 was full of travel, professional development and improvement of skills with conferences and workshops, and new ideas. Along the way, I am proud of the many goals I accomplished that led me to grow little by little throughout the year. Below are some of my 2017 favorites, and some reader favorites from this year.

Homemade Croissants | www.passthecookies.com

We started out the year with a snow day and homemade croissants – both adventures in their own ways. I was (and still am) so proud that these croissants came out as fluffy, flaky and buttery as I could have imagined. This was definitely a new challenge for me, but one that I loved!

Chocolate Cake with Whiskey Caramel Frosting and Dark Chocolate Ganache aka one of the best cakes I have ever made | www.passthecookies.com

Chocolate cake with whiskey caramel buttercream and dark chocolate ganache frosting was the most popular blog posts this year – and for good reason. I made this cake for multiple occasions and loved seeing friends and readers recreate it!

Dark Chocolate Pecan Oatmeal Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

My most requested post was the recipe for the classic dark chocolate pecan oatmeal cookies that I shared earlier this year. These are my go-to cookies – I can make them with my eyes closed and always have frozen dough balls in the fridge for unexpected company (or late night cravings).

Carrot Cake Scones with Cream Cheese Glaze | passthecookies.com

Perfect for spring, carrot cake scones with cream cheese glaze were one of the top recipes and photos on Instagram this year. I’m already looking forward to making them again next year.

Weekend in Philadelphia | www.passthecookies.com

With Will’s crazy clinical schedule we often didn’t know what our weekends would look like. A last minute weekend in Philadelphia was so fun and too quick of a turn-around.

One of my favorite recipes this spring was the delicious cinnamon swirl scone bread. Fluffy, cinnamony scone heaven in every bite!

Los Angeles | www.passthecookies.com

The next big trip I took was a girls trip with childhood friends to Los Angeles (parts 1 and 2) I had never been to LA, and it was so great to spend time with longtime friends and interesting to compare it to some of the other big cities I visited this year.

Flourless peanut butter cookie ice cream sandwiches were one of the easiest, yet tastiest recipes this year, and fulfilled all of my gluten free friends’ dreams! They are seriously the simplest to make and are one of my new favorites to make for guests (everyone likes them!).

Slow Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spiced Maple Pecans and Maple Bourbon Butter | Pass The Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Another of the most popular recipes this year was slow roasted sweet potatoes with spiced maple pecans and maple bourbon butter Their instagram popularity (and the number of times I made them again for lunches and dinners) proved that they deserved the spotlight.

While I am certainly not a DIY blogger, I couldn’t resist showing you my DIY cane bed. I’m still so proud of my IKEA bed hack – it makes the whole room feel more put-together and fancy.

Pumpkin Bread with Chai Crumble | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

As you know, I’m a sucker for all things pumpkin. pumpkin bread with chai crumble was an amazing addition to my pumpkin supply this year and I’m itching to make it again. It’s never a bad time for pumpkin bread – especially one this tasty!

I covered food and drinks in a totally different way this fall when we participated in coffeeneuring – biking to coffee shops. This is one area where I grew this year in confidence and adventure. Before starting our first ride I didn’t think I could bike a few miles to a coffee shop across town, but I proved to myself that I could do it and quickly became addicted to the fun coffee-seeking cycling adventures.

Brown Butter Sweet Potato Cake with Bourbon Molasses Frosting | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

With Thanksgiving on the brain, there were some great pies in November. But, the brown butter sweet potato cake with chocolate ganache and molasses buttercream took the cake – literally. Not only was it beautiful, it was also a delicious combination of flavors and textures and unique enough to stand out amidst all of the pies.

Brown Butter Ginger Cookies | Pass The Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Lastly, brown butter ginger cookies from just last week were some of my favorite cookies of the year. Even though I have gobbled up more than my fair share of cookies this Christmas season, I am still tempted to make more of these delicious little treats.

Thank you for following along this year! I’m excited for what 2018 has in store!

gift guide for the active adventurer

You may be wondering why “the active adventurer” is a category. As I was putting together this gift guide, I found that a lot of gifts for the athletic friend overlapped with gifts that a travel-lover would use as well. Whether she is trying to look cute coming from the gym or the plane, the items on this gift guide for the active adventurer are for any kind of on-the-go girl on your list.

Gift Guide for the Active Adventurer | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

| Pullover | Dry Shampoo | Teleties | Sports Bra | S’well Water Bottle | Scarf | Sleep Mask |
| Duffel Bag | Lavender Essential Oil Roll-On | NY Times 36 Hours Book | Reflective Gloves |
| Gripper Socks | Holiday Athletic Socks | Athleisure Leggings | Reflective Leggings |

Reflective Gear
I always keep reflective gear in my gym bag now that it is dark out whenever I have time to run. With reflective strips circling each leg, these reflective leggings would be perfect for running on these cold, dark winter days. As a runner, I look all over the place for reflective tights every year (they don’t seem to improve as much as I would like from year to year), and these are the most reflective I have seen on the market. For a smaller price and amount of reflectivity, these gloves would be great! (more…)

link love

Happy happy Friday, friends! I am excited about the cold weather we have been having – it finally feels like fall! Someone mentioned yesterday that we were only two weeks away from Thanksgiving. Can you believe that?! Maybe it was the warmer weather we had in October, but it feels like November barely started. I have a busy weekend ahead, but I’m trying to squeeze in a little time to relax before the real craziness of the holiday season kicks into high gear.

link love 11.10.2017via

Before the weekend gets started, here is some link love to enjoy from this week.

I love this collection of lessons from female entrepreneurs. I have been listening to some of the stories about female entrepreneurs on the “How I Built This” podcast recently and find them so empowering and inspiring. This post was right in line with that and provides real-life business advice from women who have built up their own businesses.

Each Olympic season I am a sucker for the Procter and Gamble “Thank You, Mom” commercials. This year is no exception. I seriously teared up when I saw their new commercial for the 2018 Winter Olympics. It is so sweet.

In the last 24 hours (more like 10 hours), the buzz in the music world has been about Taylor Swift’s new album, but did you hear that Beyonce is going to be in the new live-action Lion King movie?!?!!! So excited!

Ready or not (I’m not), the holidays are coming like a freight train. I’m always intrigued by Oprah’s annual “favorite things” list. While I have never intentionally set out to buy any of the items on her favorite things list, it can be a fun place to find new items that I didn’t know about, get ideas for what other people might like, and see which items I love made the cut.

Last, but certainly not least, the NYC Marathon was last Sunday and I have been reading about it all week. As a runner and a UNC grad, Shalane Flanagan’s win was so exciting! But, I also love seeing the photos of “regular” people, who aren’t necessarily professional athletes, running the big race. The NYC Marathon is such a unique race, spanning across five bridges and through all five boroughs, and seems to really embody the diversity and excitement of the city itself. Seeing these photos makes me want to go on a run too!

Have a wonderful weekend!

new york through an iphone

I mentioned in my November goals post that October was a busy month, both for work and in my personal life. The two biggest, and most fun, parts of the month were the trips I took: a girls weekend in the NC mountains to visit a friend who is due with her first baby any day now, and to NYC for a work conference. Which the changing leaves and cooler temperatures, both were such amazing places to visit in October.

After visiting the mountains, New York was a stark, but fun change. The leaves in the city were changing colors and the weather was crisp and cool, especially on my last day. I have been to New York in October before, but this trip convinced me that October is the best time to visit the city. It was beautiful and just what you expect from New York in the fall.

NYC October 2017 | www.passthecookies.com

NYC October 2017 | www.passthecookies.com

While I came for a work conference, I stayed with one of my college suitemates and had so much fun seeing her favorite places and exploring the city on my own. I wish I could do it all over again. Since I was only there for a short period of time, I packed light and left my camera behind, so these iPhone pics are all I have from this trip. They aren’t the best quality, but they still show New York in it’s fall glory.

NYC October 2017 | www.passthecookies.com

My flight didn’t leave until the afternoon the day after the conference, so I had the whole morning to wander and chose to do so on the upper west side. I decided to immerse myself in the New York way and grabbed a hot bagel from Absolute Bagels to eat on a park bench in Riverside Park, just one block away. I have been to NYC multiple times, and have spent time in Central Park, of course, and even Prospect Park, where my half marathon finished two years ago, but had never been to Riverside Park. It was amazing! The three-level park extends most of the way down the west side of Manhattan, sandwiched between the Hudson River and beautiful brownstones. There are bike paths that wind though the park and playgrounds every few blocks. I always find it amazing how great New York is about creating and maintaining green space. While I was eating breakfast I saw crews cleaning the paths, blowing the sand from the sandboxes out of the playground area, and picking up trash from the edges of the streets. The whole park was immaculate and peaceful, even though there were bustling streets just one and two blocks away.

NYC October 2017-7

NYC October 2017 | www.passthecookies.com

After my bagel and UWS wanderings, I made my way to Columbia University, grabbed coffee, and explored campus until I had to head to the airport. Campus was very pretty, but not what I expected. The buildings seemed to all be in different styles of architecture and were on different planes. I’m sure if I had been able to stay a little longer and walk around more the design may have made more sense. Despite the confusing planes, it was cool to walk off of busy streets with tall buildings onto a typical college campus. It didn’t feel like it was in the middle of NYC at all.

NYC October 2017 | www.passthecookies.com

NYC October 2017 | www.passthecookies.com

NYC October 2017 | www.passthecookies.com

NYC October 2017 | www.passthecookies.com

It was fun to explore new places and return to some of the places we went last time (because you can’t have too many Levain Bakery cookies). By the end my trip, I felt like I could navigate the city by myself. With each trip, I see new places and enjoy the city even more. I don’t have plans to go back anytime soon, but looking at these photos makes me want to book a ticket.

NYC October 2017 | www.passthecookies.com

link love

You guys! This is the 100th link love post on PTC! Can you believe that?! I can’t. When I saw 100 in the url I actually went back and counted the number of link love posts in the archives because I truly didn’t think it was right. Thank you for following along with me for these 100 link love roundups throughout the years. I hope they bring some fun to your weekend :)

link love 10.27.2017 via

Without further ado, our 100th link love:

I love love love this post on ways to save money. Will and I have our own methods of saving money, but seeing money-saving tips from other people always opens my eyes to great tricks I wouldn’t think about otherwise.

Speaking of money, I’m so late to the game on this, but I was recently introduced to Refinery29’s Money Diaries and find them so interesting! I love that you can see how women with different jobs and salaries spend money in different parts of the country. The project aims to remove the taboo from the topic of salaries. It also encourages people to track their spending in a money diary to help them realize where/how they are spending their money, and hopefully realize how they can save money (going back to the previous link). I find it interesting to see how people spend their money in a week because it really seems like a peek into what they value. Since I was in NYC this week, this recent money diary from a Brooklyn native seemed very relevant.

I have followed Joy the Baker for years now, and am so excited about the new venture she launched in The Bakehouse NOLA. Joy invites guests to join her at her gorgeous Crescent City home for cooking classes, workshops, and events based on different themes (this weekend is a homemade bagel event!). The idea of a well-known blogger welcoming guests (and fans :) ) into her home for a hands-on learning event is so unique and cool! I know it isn’t feasible for many people, but I love the idea!

In our female communities we often discuss self-confidence issues, body-image struggles, and unfair comparison to those we follow on the social media. This article on how to improve body image just by wearing clothing that fits well and makes us feel good is needed in today’s society and trends in fashion. Some days this may be more difficult than others, but shouldn’t we all dress in a way that helps us love ourselves, whether that follows the current trends or not? I think yes.

Lastly, if you still haven’t figured out your Halloween costume for Tuesday, here is a handy list of 25 last-minute costume ideas. I’d love to hear your creative ideas!

Happy weekending, friends!

what is your favorite pick-me-up?

What is your favorite pick me up? | www.passthecookies.com

Some days you just need a little boost, or a small treat to get you over that 3 p.m. hump. Do you have a favorite pick-me-up? What about a regular coffee shop order? I have always wanted to be the type of person with a go-to order, or at least have a place I visit so frequently that the staff recognizes me. I go to a small coffee shop a few times a week during my lunch break, sometimes to grab a drink or snack, sometimes just to do some blog work, and finally feel like the baristas know who I am when I walk up to the counter. The dilemma here is that they don’t ask for names for your order, and I pay with cash to get their “cash card” benefits, so they still don’t know my name, haha! Despite not knowing my name, it does feel nice to know that they recognize me and know me a little bit, even if it is just my schedule, habits, and random caffeine orders :)

While I often switch around my coffee shop order, I definitely have a few snacks I reach for consistently (apples, almonds, tea, coffee, and dark chocolate), which sometimes serve as my go-to pick-me-ups for other people too. Throughout the year I like to ask my friends and coworkers for their favorite coffee-shop order, snacks, or treats. Then when I need an easy way to say happy birthday or want to grab a pick-me-up on a hard day, I already know what to get. To really be prepared for any occasion, you can expand this and ask for a favorite candy, favorite food, favorite flower, etc. I have a huge Google Doc with a group of my college friends with all of our contact information and favorite things – I’m talking columns A-ZZ filled with addresses, birthdays and favorite snacks, drinks, patterns, colors, office supply the list goes on and on. This makes it so easy to know when birthdays are coming up, and exactly how to love them best at any time of the year! It is easy to send a “thinking of you” card or gift they will love (I love me some snail mail), and, when the time comes, makes secret Santa so much easier, too! So, what’s your go-to pick-me-up? What goodies should I add to my list?

Pumpkin Bread with Chai Crumble | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

First photo via Pinterest, second photo from my pumpkin bread with chai crumble.

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