Weekend Thoughts + Links

Tiny Red Book Brooch by Buntmal

Since I’m working full time now, I’ve realized that most of my clothes aren’t considered office appropriate. Since I don’t have the money to go out and by a whole new wardrobe (Who does? If you do, will you take me shopping?) I’ve been trying to wear pieces in different combinations, with different belts and jewelry so I don’t feel like I’m wearing the same outfit every week. I work at a realty company, so I don’t have to dress like I’m going to work at the Vogue office, but it makes me feel better about going into work every day. I’ve also been thinking about a post I read this week about growing a minimalist wardrobe from Reading My Tea Leaves, and trying to think about donating clothes I don’t wear much and slowly adding new pieces that I can mix and match for both the office and the weekend. Sabrina of afterDRK talks about her 5 piece French Wardrobe theory, which I think is really interesting too.

– My style is generally sort of menswear inspired meets elementary school teacher / librarian (if that’s even a thing), so I love the little book brooch (pictured above) I found this week from Buntmal. It’s definitely going on my Christmas wishlist.

– Have you read Noelle Stevenson’s webcomic Nimona? It’s ending next week, which seems crazy! It’s being published sometime next year, so I will definitely be buying it. In the meantime, I can’t wait to read the final page next week!

– Are you dressing up for Halloween? I don’t think Teddy and I will unless we know someone who’s having a costume party, but there are some really awesome DIY costumes over at Oh Happy Day this week. The moth costume is stinkin’ cute, but since I’m kind of terrified of moths (long story) I’d probably dress up as an adorable cupcake.

– The Easy Laminated Nutella Morning Buns have me drooling, and are definitely going on my to-bake list. They seem like a good template for other flavors too, which is really fun!

– In my quest to successfully frost a layer cake (and have it look pretty at the end), I might turn to this DIY Abstract Watercolor Painted Cake from Sugar and Cloth. Seriously pretty, and it seems accessible for either a rookie or veteran cake decorator.

– This song has been on repeat at work this week (sorry to everyone in my office!), and the video’s pretty good too.

I have a really fun post coming up this week that I’m really excited about, so come by on Thursday to see it! I hope you all have a great week!

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Office Space

The first time Teddy and I saw our apartment was the first time we walked in the door. It was stressful for both of us because we didn’t really know what we were getting into. There have definitely been some great surprises, like the built-in bookshelves and working fireplace, but there have been some not-so-fun surprises too, like the mustard-colored walls, the (literally) temperamental shower, and a mini-me washer and dryer. Our apartment is definitely still coming together (read: most of the walls are bare and there is a massive pile of dishes in the sink). Teddy and I are having a little too much fun planning what our next apartment will look like (I’m voting for white walls. A girl can hope, right?) One of the things that I’ve been really dreaming about is a work space for both me and Teddy. I even have a Pinterest board for it.

Teddy's Desk

This picture of Teddy working on his computer is a little moody– I promise I was just experimenting with my VSCO CAM app and not trying to drop a hint! His computer set-up is huge and takes up the whole desk (I guess it comes with the territory of marrying a techie person), so I usually end up writing on the couch while he’s using his desktop. And while we don’t really have space to change up the current desk situation, I’m hoping to have a shared office space when we move into our next apartment. It’ll be an interesting task to make a space that appeals to both a writer and a computer guy. (Who also doesn’t want everything floral. Weird, right?)

Here’s what I would currently put in my dream office:

PicMonkey Collage2

Here are some offices that I’m going to copy be inspired by whenever I’m able to decorate my own mini-office.

Emily A. Clarke's office

Emily A. Clarke’s whole house tour is beautiful, but her office is literally my dream office. I love the big bookcase and the farmhouse table. One girl in my SIP class wrote about Madeleine L’Engle’s writing process, and I have a fantasy of having an office in the living or dining area so I can be around my family/ keep my future kids from climbing up the curtains. I’m sure I’ll look back at this and laugh when I actually have kids, but it sounds great right now.

Mandi Johnson desk

I love this custom built-in desk, and the fact that it’s in the living room. I won’t be able to make custom furniture as long as we’re in a rental, but maybe Teddy will like flexing his carpenter skills someday if we have a house.

LA Shop

This mini-desk from Victoria’s trip to LA is so cute! I’m really into the “Love Rules Forever” sign and the bunny figurine.

window seat desk

I love this little desk by the window from Lark & Linen– it’s actually part of a library-turned-house, which I think is really cool!

Apartment Apothecary office makeover

This is such a cute and simple shared-office makeover from Apartment Apothecary.

What about you guys? What would your dream office look like?

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Coffee Shop Eats: Crumb Cake

Have you heard the saying not to “eat your feelings?”

I’ve had my fair share of nights with girlfriends passing around a jar of Nutella and a spoon after a breakup (don’t pretend you’ve never done it), but one of the most important food rituals I started in college was my pre-paper coffee.

I actually didn’t really drink coffee until around my sophomore year of college, which is especially odd since I come from a family of coffee addicts. But the bigger my workload became, the more often I would leave campus for a caffeinated pick-me-up, and by my senior year I could drink a latte (without syrup!) instead of the frappuccinos I ordered as a freshman. My friends and I had our favorite spots, from the Starbucks 10 minutes from campus to the more hipster places at least 20 minutes away (an occupational hazard of going to school on a mountain). I loved studying there, both for the change of scenery and the chance to pick up a muffin or scone if I needed an extra boost. (I mentioned before that I’ll take what I can get when it comes to writing inspiration.)

Blueberry Crumb Cake

To this day, drinking a latte immediately gets me in the mood to get to work, which makes me wonder if this is one of the secrets to bribing your muse, or as Anne Lamott puts it, the Dr. Seuss creature working away in your subconscious. But the rub is that I haven’t found a favorite coffee shop in Houston yet, and Starbucks gets pricey after a while. So I thought, why not make my own creativity fuel?

I have yet to make the perfect latte, but a crumb cake, that I can do. I made the Blueberry Crumb Cake from Smitten Kitchen (embarrassingly in a tart pan, since I didn’t have a deep enough round pan) and The Black Thyme Muffins from The FauxMartha (in a loaf pan, because my muffin tin went missing since the move to Houston… luckily she gives directions for that as well!).

Blackberry Crumb Cake

Both are completely delicious; the hit of lemon in the blueberry cake recipe is ridiculously addictive, and I’m the biggest sucker for thyme, so I knew I would be making Melissa’s recipe as soon as I could get my hands on some on-sale blackberries. (Tricky in the summer, but I’m excited for more berries this fall. Just look how pretty they are…)


Baking notes:
Don’t get too overzealous when mixing up the crumble toppings. If you mix the sugar and butter and maple syrup (for the FauxMartha recipe) too enthusiastically, it won’t end up as crumbly once it’s baked. It’s still delicious, but it does affect the texture slightly.

Melissa’s note about the “whole milk” yogurt threw me off, so I used some Greek yogurt that we had in the fridge. I later read this article from The Kitchn that explained that the Greek yogurt is simply strained a third time, so it’s extra thick compared to regular yogurt. This made the final cake a little dense (but still moist, so we didn’t mind too much). So I would advise you to use “full fat,” regular yogurt for the moistness and lack of density.

Do you guys have any go-to rituals for getting in the mood to write, run, or do laundry? (Please let me know if you have a ritual that makes laundry more fun. I would love you forever.)

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