Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Spring Flowers




Southern Oregon weather really knows how to tease a girl. One minute it's snowing with flakes the size of fifty cent pieces. The next, the sun is out shining. Wait one more minute and the clouds come rolling back in. Luckily one day last week was in my favor. I picked up some amazing flowers from Trader Joe's, and ran outside before the sun disappeared behind the dark grey clouds again. I've officially lost my tan lines from last summer, and that makes me so disappointed. I NEED THE SUN! Summer can not come soon enough. I think I see a mini vaca to the desert in my near future..
















Photos by Sierra Hunts




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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Strawberry Basil French Macarons


I am FINALLY sharing my French macaron recipe! 
Many people have asked me throughout the years to teach them how to make these.
They're super pretty, and always a hit when I bring them to gatherings. BUT these little sandwiches of joy are superrrrr finicky. One wrong move and the whole batch is ruined.. and that is a sad, sad day.





Strawberry shells:

INGREDIENTS
100 g almond flour
165 g powdered sugar
10 g powdered freeze dried strawberries
100 egg whites
30 g granulated sugar


DIRECTIONS
1. Prepare two baking sheets with silicone mats. (I use a Silpat or the mat from this macaron kit, here).
2. Prepare a pastry bag with a small sized round tip. 
3. Sift almond flour, powdered sugar, and powdered freeze dried strawberries. Disregard any large pieces left over.
4. In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment beat egg whites until foamy. Once foamy add the sugar. Continue beating until you get firm peaks. If the peaks are not firm and stand on their own, the macarons will not turn out.
5. Now is usually the time where I add some food coloring.. Just a few drops will do. Keep in mind some of the color will fade a little as they bake.
6. Once the whites are whipped, start incorporating the dry ingredients SLOWLY, by hand. You do not want to deflate the egg whites. Sprinkle in half of the dry ingredients in and fold slowly and carefully. Add the other half of dry ingredients and do the same. The batter should have no dry specs, and should still have thickness and hold its shape.. like the consistency of pancake batter.
7. Pour batter into pastry bag and pipe quarter sized dots onto your silicone mats. I like to give the baking trays a couple firm bangs on the counter top to get out any air bubbles.
8. Let them rest at room temperature until a skin has formed. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the humidity in your house.
9. Once a nice skin has formed bake at 280 degrees for about 17 minutes.

When you take them out of the oven they should have smooth tops and the coveted 'feet' on the bottom.






Basil Buttercream:

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk

DIRECTIONS
1. Pulse basil leaves in a food processor until well chopped. 
2. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar to food processor and pulse until basil sugar mixture is fully combined, and resembles a loose paste.
3. In a bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment, which together butter, basil/sugar mixture, and remaining powdered sugar until well blended.
4. Add vanilla and milk, beating until everything is incorporated and frosting reaches a spreadable consistency. 


Gently pipe filling onto one side of a macaron shell, and sandwich with another half.

Your macarons should taste good on the first day, but letting them sit for a few days with the filling will allow the insides to soften a bit through some magical osmosis, and that is when they are amazing.






"As soon as they're made they're not ready to eat, but they're really at their best after 24 or even 48 hours,"... "An osmosis takes place between the garnish and the biscuit. When freshly baked this is hard and crisp, but it absorbs some humidity from the filling and its inside becomes more tender while the crust on the surface stays intact." - Pierre Hermé





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Photographs by Sierra Hunts of Nutritional Foodie




Sunday, February 12, 2017

Links I Love - Valentine's Day Edition




1. 22 Limited Edition Valentine's Day Candies - (Refinery29)

2. These Lasagna Heart Roll-Ups Are Perfect For Valentine's Day Dinner - (Elite Daily)

3. 4 Ways To Decorate Cookies For Valentine's Day - (Martha Stewart)

4. Free Printable Valentine's Day Cards - (Lauren Conrad)

5. I Will Definitely Make These Strawberry Brownie Skewers - (Cupcakes & Cashmere)

6. 25 Must See Valentine's Day Movies - (MyLitter)

7. Would You Try These Gel Lip Masks? - (Nordstrom)

8. My Favorite Gummy Candy Is The Perfect Valentine's Day Gift - (Saks)

9. Treat Yourself To This Sexy Lace Bodysuit.. It's Only $19! - (BooHoo)





Thursday, February 9, 2017

Valentine's Day Favorites 2017




Valentine's Day is one of my FAVORITE holidays. It's probably the cutest holiday.. All the decorations, and the pink and red.. I love all the love. 

I have been wanting the Sincerely Jules lash tee for foreverrrrr, but can't justify spending $49 on a t-shirt; so when I found a nearly identical one for a fraction of the price, I totally snagged it. I have a feeling it will be sold out really soon, so get it while you can! 

The OPI nail polish in Big Apple Red is my all time favorite,  I wear it ALL the time.. and the NARS blush is the only blush I ever use, in the color 'orgasm'... very fitting for Valentine's Day. 

If you follow me on Snapchat (colieolieoh), you know that I wore the Stila lip color above for New Years Eve. I was shocked that is lasted the whole night, after multiple glasses of champagne. Highly recommend! 



Shop my Valentine's Day favorites:

Lash Tee // Sugarfina Sugar Lips Candy // Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lip Color In Beso // Kate Spade Card Case // OPI Nail Lacquer In Big Apple Red // Kate Spade Socks // NARS Blush In Orgasm // Diptyque Rosa Mundi Candle // Heart Dish Towels // ASOS Bobbi Lace Up Bodysuit // Heart Salad Plate // Heart Sunglasses // Heart And Arrow Doormat 





Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Book Club // No. 2



My February read is 'All The Missing Girls' by Megan Miranda.
(I seriously can not put this book down)

Buy it on Amazon here





Monday, February 6, 2017

Red Velvet Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies



One of my favorite holidays. The decor, the candy, and the overall vibe gets me every year. Unfortunately this year it lands on a Tuesday, but Saturday I will be celebrating with a bunch of girlfriends with Fifty Shades Darker and cocktails.. and eating lots of cookies of course.

These cookies are so pretty, and so easy to make. Anyone can do it. I love that the recipe makes only 6 cookies, so it's perfect for someone like me who wants a sweet treat, but doesn't want two dozen cookies sitting around the house waiting to be eaten. Usually I will eat one or two and then pawn the rest of them off to my friends, coworkers, or anyone that will take them.







Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
  • 6 white chocolate peanut butter hearts

Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350, and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper (or use a silicone mat).
  2. Stir together the melted butter, sugar, egg yolk, vanilla extract and red food coloring. Stir very well to combine. 
  3. Next, sprinkle the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt evenly over the dough, and stir just to combine.
  4. Press the dough flat and evenly in the bowl, and then divide it in half by eye. You should get 3 cookies from each half.
  5. Roll each dough ball in your hands, roll lightly extra granulated sugar, and then space evenly on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until they spread, start to crackle and appear dry on top.
  7. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. After the cookies have cooled for 10 minutes, press a white chocolate heart into the center of each cookie. Move the cookies to the fridge (so the hearts don't melt too much) to set for 30 minutes.
  9. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Recipe from Dessert For Two.






Thursday, February 2, 2017

All In Good Time


Good morning! It's been awhile.. I've recently found myself in a creative rut. I have been looking for inspiration everywhere I go, and just couldn't seem to find any from anywhere or anything. The past year started out great and ended at a low for me. I got very discouraged with a lot of things in life. I tend to be very critical and hard on myself, so it's been a little bit of a process coming out of my rut. Luckily the new year has started out on a high note. I'm happy to announce that I have partnered with some great brands and even better people to bring you some new and inspiring content! 

Now, can we just talk about how cute my new watch is? It's the Frankie 35 in zebrawood and champagne from JORD Wood Watches. It's made out of wood so each one is so different and unique. (Check out the rest of their women's and men's watches also!) You can definitely tell that JORD cares about the quality of their products. From the amazing craftsmanship of the wood band, to their packaging and included care kit, I was impressed. (I'm such a sucker for good packaging) When I was picking a watch out, they even sized it to my wrist so it would arrive ready-to-wear.





Even with how stylish and cute this watch is, this is not something that I would initially go for. I would normally pick something gold, and simple - that's just my go to. So this is a little out of my fashion comfort zone. I usually keep my style pretty basic; neutral colors, and dainty gold pieces for accessories. But this watch is so easy to style! It gives my simple, basic outfits just the perfect amount of chicness. The sleek face makes it easy to dress up and with the earthy wood band, makes it easy to dress down. 


If you love this watch just as much as I do, then you're in luck. Thanks to JORD Wood Watches, one lucky reader with receive a $100 gift card! That's not all though.. everyone that enters will receive a $25 promo code at the end of the contest just for entering. 

To enter, follow the link here. (http://www.woodwatches.com/g/nicholemarie) Contest closes on February 19th.

Good luck everyone! 





Special thanks to JORD Wood Watches for sponsoring this post, Sierra Hunts, and Minery Rentals for the amazing photography and props. 



Watches Made From Wood



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