catch up with me

We’re more than halfway through 2021! Wow, I haven’t updated since last December. I thought I’d take some time to catch up on what’s been going on.

But first, look at this beautiful rose garden I stumbled across earlier this year. This is Bon Air Park in Arlington, VA, which features a rose garden of over 120 different varieties.

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holiday gift guide

Ho ho ho, it’s the end of 2020 and the holidays are just around the corner. With only two weeks until Christmas, there isn’t too much time left to procrastinate and wrap up holiday shopping.

To hopefully make things easier for you, I’ve assembled a gift guide for all the lovely people in your life. All gift suggestions are products I’ve either personally used or have done some research on, and none of these are sponsored by the company or a third party. I tried to include gift ideas of various price points. Hope this is helpful to you!

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gentle reminders

She wore flowers in her hair and carried magic secrets in her eyes.

Arundhati Roy

This is a short post, but I wanted to post a few photos of some of my favorite places and things. I hope they brighten your day and make you smile 🙂

Love your family. Love your friends. But don’t forget to love yourself. With the ongoing pandemic, it’s easy to not give yourself the break you need and deserve. However, now more than ever, we recognize the need for self-care and self-love. If you’re finding yourself overworked, stressed, or burned out, please take time for yourself.

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matcha nama chocolate

Have you ever tried ROYCE’ Chocolate? ROYCE’, a Japanese chocolate manufacturing company, was established in 1983. Their bestseller, the Nama chocolate, was born in 1995. Their Nama chocolates come in a variety of flavors, such as milk chocolate, matcha chocolate, champagne chocolate, whiskey chocolate, white chocolate, etc.

I’ve tried ROYCE’s matcha nama chocolate before, and it was delicious. However, it is a little on the pricey side at $18 for 20 pieces. Recently, I came across a recipe from Just One Cookbook for matcha nama chocolate. I decided to try it out and to my surprise, the recipe was incredibly easy!

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matcha soufflé

Another matcha recipe in the books! For a long time, I have been wanting to make a matcha green tea soufflé that I saw from Honeysuckle (aka Dzung Lewis). I obviously adore matcha, and I absolutely love soufflés (chocolate hazelnut is my preferred flavor). Naturally, a matcha soufflé is a must to try for someone like me!

Soufflés appear complicated, but I actually found this recipe to be fairly easy to follow. Dzung had some great tips that helped make the process effortless. I’ve also listed a couple below for your reference.

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matcha pound cake

If you couldn’t gather by now, I’m a matcha devourer. I love it with hot water or milk, in muffins and cakes, as a flavor in mochi and ice cream, everything. And I thought the next matcha recipe I wanted to attempt was matcha pound cake.

I find that matcha in baked goods is particularly wonderful because it’s got an earthy, somewhat bitter flavoring that balances the sweetness of most baking ingredients. Not to mention, the green coloring is aesthetically pleasing.

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matcha dalgona

By now, I’m sure everyone has seen the dalgona coffee craze. It’s a beverage of equal parts instant coffee, sugar, and water whipped into a creamy consistency that’s topped on milk. I’ve made this drink a couple of times and while I personally am not the biggest fan of it (a little too sugary for me), I can’t deny the caffeinated joy the process brings me. Because I love matcha, I decided my next recipe attempt was for matcha dalgona.

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greek yogurt banana chocolate chip muffins

Since everyone is making banana bread, I thought: “Let’s make banana muffins instead!” I had a few extra ripe bananas lying around and rather than making the quintessential baked good of quarantine life these days, I decided to bake some banana chocolate chip muffins. Who doesn’t like bananas and chocolate chips together? Absolutely perfect for breakfast or a snack!

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l’eau sézane

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens / Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens / Brown paper packages tied up with strings / These are a few of my favorite things.

While raindrops on roses and bright copper kettles bring a smile to my face too, I also have a few other favorite things. One of these things is something I recently purchased and received – L’Eau Sézane.

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make it like your birthday every day

Today is Brinkley‘s birthday! He is now 3 years old. I can’t believe how fast time has flown by. When we first picked up Brinkley, he was just 9 weeks old and the tiniest little smol bean who could fit in the crook of my arm. Now, he’s a healthy, strong, muscular dog who is a treasured member of our family. Naturally, celebrating his birthday is a must in our household.


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homemade three-ingredient dog treats

Yes, you read that right – these homemade dog treats consist of only three ingredients! During these days of quarantining and social distancing, I know many of you are at home trying several new recipes. Well, why not add this recipe to your repertoire? P.S. this is not only perfect for dogs, but it’s also human-friendly too.

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pourover coffee guide

Growing up, I never drank coffee. My parents were not coffee drinkers and the occasional coffee I did drink over the years was a very sugary Starbucks Frappuccino. This continued well into college and even after graduation. It wasn’t until maybe 2012/2013 that I started to explore various types of coffee brewing.

Coffee

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