Coffee & Caramel Brownies

Coffee & Caramel Brownies

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Hello Everyone,

Yesterday I made a delicious brownie recipe, something that is perfect for these last cold months of winter. Filled with chocolate, coffee, and caramel bits, they are scrumptious when first coming out of the oven, and perfect for a late night treat with a warm drink. You could make this by taking a box mix and adding the coffee, chips, and caramel, but I really wanted to try and make some from scratch. I was so happy that I did!

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Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces of baking chocolate
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons of instant coffee
  • Handful of caramel bits (I used Werther’s soft caramels and cut them in half)
  • Baking chocolate chips (I bought the chunky kind)

 

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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 inch glass baking dish (or something close to those measurements.
  2. In microwave safe bowl, melt chopped baking chocolate. Once melted, put aside and melt your butter in another bowl. Add them both together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Whisk the sugar, vanilla, flour, cocoa powder, and salt into the butter and chocolate mixture. Whisk in the eggs and instant coffee and mix for about a minute until it is smooth (and it is a bit thick at this stage)
  4. Stir in your caramel bits and chocolate chips. I added chunks of sea salt as well and mixed everything together.
  5. Pour the batter into your baking dish and put it in the oven. It should bake between 30 – 35 minutes (mine baked for 32)
  6. Let cool before you serve. The caramels do tend to sink to the bottle, which wasn’t a problem for me, but you want to wait at least 10 minutes before you cut them up, or the caramel will still be liquid and it will make a mess! They are delicious hot, but also serve well when they are cold and you have a nice drink!

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If you make these, let me know what you think! They have a mocha flavor to them, the coffee isn’t super strong, so they go well with a nice cup of coffee still. I think this is the perfect end-of-winter treat to warm me up!

I’ve been working on a lot of fun projects lately, which has been making me feel very creative. I came across this quote which I love, and thought I would share:

 

“The ability to take what is most painful in the human condition and then redeem it in a work of beauty has always been seen as the sacred task of artists.”

— Roger Scruton 

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Winter Makeup

Winter Makeup

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Hello Everyone,

I have been wearing a glittery eye lately with a berry lip for winter, and I thought I would recreate that look for a blogpost. Spring will be approaching quickly, and that will mean a much more subdued and dewy look, so this is my last chance to showcase a winter one!

Winter makeup is usually a bit heavier with glitter and liner and pops of color on the lips. While I’ve been wearing red a light, I’ve been reaching for deep berry tones lately, which are a fun twist on the classic red for winter. I’ve also been layering many different glitter and shimmer eyeshadows to give a glowing effect around my eyes, especially the inner corners. This goes pretty well with most of the outfits I wear, and since a lot of it is shimmery, it blends easily. Even my lip color was applied with lip balm first, and I blended it with my finger to soften the appearance.

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Before I get into it, I want to give a big shoutout to my Anastasia Contour Kit. I use this literally every single day. It warms up my face easily and is super easy to layer colors if you haven’t applied enough. The lighter colors are perfect for setting my face and adding a slight highlight. I actually started my makeup off today by using a light BB cream and concealer, and then set it with the top right power in this palette. The colors I used today in the palette are the two far right ones.

After that, I used the bronzer on the right to fill in my eyebrows with a MAC 266 brush.

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From my Banila palette, I used a sparkly pink color which was barely pigments, it was mostly glitter. I used my finger to put this into my inner corner. I find this captures the light beautifully and really shows off the glowing effect.

After that, I used my Lorac Pro palette with the color Champagne which is less glittery and more of a cream shimmer shadow. I put that in my corner too, but blended it further into the middle of my lid and underneath my eye, close to the inner corners. After, I used the gold chunky glitter from my Banila palette and put that all over the rest of my lid and blended it to make it even.

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There is a buttery, shimmery brown in the Banila palette that I lightly put on my pinky finger and concentrated under my eyes towards the outsides. This gave a bit more definition so the look was a little bit darker.

I used my Rimmel London liquid eyeliner in black to make wings (and I shockingly did it evenly!) I then used Maybelline’s Falsies mascara only on my top lashes to make them as big as they could be.

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I went in with the same bronzer from the Anastasia Contour Kit and concentrated that under my cheekbones. Bronzers really does make all the difference in the world, it sculpts your face and warms up the edges!

I used a Revlon cream blush stick in the color Berry Kiss and blended it in with my fingertips. After that, I used a cream highlighter and focused it on the tops of my cheekbones, but I also dabbed some on the very tip of my nose.

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My lip color is actually a gloss by Hikari in the color “Merlot” and I focused it on the centers of my lips and then blended it out with my fingertip. The effect is nice and soft, and you don’t have to worry about it moving around or being ruined because the formula is so light!

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Let me know what your favorite winter makeup has been this season, and I can’t wait to see how things will change once the weather warms up!

To see what else I’m up to, check out my Instagram and Tumblr! 🙂

-Heather

Nothing Good Gets Away

Nothing Good Gets Away

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This past weekend, in the bitter cold, I spent a wonderful weekend with my dear friend in her cozy cabin home. The wood fire stove kept us nice and warm while we had many days of soup-eating and visiting with family and friends.

When you haven’t seen a friend for a long time, it is so lovely to reconnect again and spend time with each other making new memories and remembering past ones. Many times, we laughed our hearts out and talked late into the night. Other times, we watched our favorite shows and ate ice cream until we were full and content.

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I’d love to hear your experiences from a happy weekend with friends. This one is one I will remember forever, a nice and warm time that was full of happiness. It certainly made my winter slump much better, as I feel refreshed and much more myself again.

It reminds me of a quote by John Steinbeck:

“If it is right, it happens–The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away”

 

 

Melodies In Our Voices

Melodies In Our Voices

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The time after the holidays is always strange, as there was just so much chaos and commotion, and then there is stillness. Of course, many people are now bustling, because once the new year arrives there is a push to do better, to do more, to be your best. But I haven’t felt that bestowed upon me this year.

We have had record cold temperatures this past week, and the chill has still not left my bones, even when I am as I am right now, which is curled up in my bed with many blankets as I watch the blizzard outside my window. The lack of sun has taken a toll on me, and I find my inspiration completely lacking. Winter is usually my favorite time of year, but this bitter cold has taken not just my warmth but my usual buffer against the normal complications in life. I have a great amount of tolerance usually, but lately, I have only felt exhaustion.

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I fear that the biggest problem with this is that I am unable to pull myself out of this slump, which I am falling into continuously every single day like I am slipping down a landslide. Even as much as I love the snow, I’m watching it harass the poor mail person who is bravely walking up our driveway to deliver to us as the wind batters them in the face, and I find that I’m thinking of the snow as the enemy. This is truly the first time I’ve felt like this, and I am constantly looking for a sunny spot on a couch to lay on like a lazy kitten, even if the spot will only remain warm for a little while. I try to write, but there is nothing inside of me. I have no appetite for reading either, even when I hear about a delicious plot in a book. I find that I pick up a novel and start reading, but it reads like a technical manual, and I am bored, and I place it to the side with a sigh.

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I am hoping others are feeling similarly, as this is certainly a winter blues situation. I want to be able to interact with people again and really hear them, to be inspired, to create something, and I hope those things will be coming to me soon.

Clothing:

Shirt – TJMaxx (Men’s section)

Sweater – Primark

 

I found this fragment of a thought, and it reminded me of how I’ve been feeling lately, more in a dream state than anything else:

“We didn’t listen to each other’s words.
We heard only the melodies in our voices.”

–Kurt Vonnegut, from Mother Night; “Romance…”

 

 

Songs for Winter Days

Songs for Winter Days

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Blood Bank – Bon Iver

20 Years – The Civil Wars

For Emma – Bon Iver

Delicate – Damien Rice

Youth – Daughter

Brother Sparrow – Agnes Obel

I See Fire – Ed Sheeran

When We Were On Fire – James Bay

Dead Sea – The Lumineers 

Winter Winds – Mumford & Sons

Red Eye – Vance Joy

Big Black Car – Gregory Alan Isakov

bones – Lewis Watson

Angela – The Lumineers

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Let me know if you like this playlist, since I’ve been compiling it for a little while! There are some new things I’ve been listening to that I’ve included. All of these make me feel so cozy, especially on the cold days we’ve been having lately. Putting this on with my headphones at night is so comforting, especially with all of my candles lit. I also play it in the car in the early morning when I’m driving to work and there’s still frost on my windows. I thought it would be nice to share!

To see what else I’m up to, you can check out my Instagram and Tumblr! 🙂

-Heather

All I Want Is Slow Mornings

All I Want Is Slow Mornings

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Hello Everyone,

I felt the impending winter air and decided I’d better get some photos out with the beautiful fallen leaves before we have snow. That’s right, snow. It seems that we’ve completely skipped Autumn weather this year and went straight to 30 degrees.

I’ve been wearing berets all over the place, but the classic black one is my favorite. I bought one at Primark, but then I found one that was given to me as a gift from Paris! It really gives a finishing touch to my fall-into-winter outfits.

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After getting a second job, I’m finding that when I can have a slow morning, I take all the time I can get. This time of year is when things get bustling, and it’s wonderful to wake up slowly and enjoy a nice breakfast with coffee or hot chocolate before my day really gets started.

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Jacket – Guess

Dress – Thrifted

Tights – Target

Boots – Bon Ton

Beret – Gifted

Scarf – Stolen from my mother 😉

Gloves – Target

I also just had my hair recolored and it is a much deeper and more vivid red. Everyone has been saying it matched the leaves outside! I’m delighted to have a photo that displays this. The forest this time of year is blazing and bright and giving us a beautiful display before winter.

If you want to see what else I’m up to, check out my Instagram & Tumblr! 🙂

-Heather

 

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Knits, Knits, Knits

Knits, Knits, Knits

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Putting clothes on in the morning has become a battle between wanting to look even somewhat stylish and not wanting to freeze to death. This means that I’ve been sheathing my limbs in layers before putting on sweaters and extra pairs of socks. All the sheer and lacy fabrics hanging in my closet are weeping when they get a glimpse of the multiple feet of snow that have taken over the front yard.

I know that nearly everyone wants spring to come, especially me. But before the afternoons warm up and we shed our scarves, we must brave the very last days of winter. I’ve been loving all of my knitted outerwear, as they are my armor against the briskness (and that’s putting it lightly). Each time I see the mounds of white that are painting the hills outside, I let out a deep sigh. Although winter is my favorite month, sometimes we have to part with the ones we love, as they can become a nuisance when you spend too much time together. The only thing keeping my head on are these wonderful scarves and gloves, and I know very soon they’ll be put away in a drawer for quite some time.

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Outfit Details:

Coat – Guess

Jeans – Urban Outfitters

Shoes – Keds

Scarf – Forever 21 (borrowed from my wonderful mom)

Gloves – Target

Socks – J. Crew

 

I’m truly hoping that the weather warms just slightly, as I have so many spring blog post ideas planned! I would also love to start my garden, and this snow is a complete disaster for that. Right now all my plants are staying warm inside, but I can tell that they need some variety in temperature that only spring weather can give them. Until then, I’ll be cozying up and grumbling about the cold. Lots of hot chocolate will be had. Hang in there guys!

“What good is the warmth of summer without the chill of winter?”

-John Steinbeck