I love making treats for people as Christmas gifts. This year I decided to make truffles to give to my boyfriend’s family.

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I made two different kinds: Dark Chocolate Nutella & White Chocolate Egg Nog. I liked the idea of having one white chocolate, and one dark chocolate to counter balance the super sweetness of the white chocolate.

First, I made the Dark Chocolate Nutella Truffles.
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I followed this recipe, but I used all dark chocolate instead of using white chocolate for the coating. Then, I drizzled white chocolate over them for a fancy touch! :]

Next, I made the White Chocolate Egg Nog Truffles.
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For these, I followed this recipe.

These were both pretty easy to make. The only tricky part is keeping the chocolate coating at the perfect temp. while you’re dipping them. If it’s too hot, or not hot enough, the chocolate will get lumpy. I also recommend putting the egg nog truffles in the freezer to stiffen up while you melt the coating. This makes them a lot easier to handle when you’re dipping them.

This was the first time I ever made truffles, and they turned out beautifully. PLUS they are both way tastey. They make a great gift because they look fancy & difficult, but they are actually pretty painless and fun to make!

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Merry Christmas!

// Laura Jude //

If you know my boyfriend at all, then you probably know about his vegan pizza obsession. It’s his favorite thing to whip up on the fly, especially because both of us usually have all the ingredients on hand. The best part about pizza is the endless possibilities, here are just a few of the pizzas we’ve done recently:
Fried Veggie Pizza:
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Taco Pizza! We used guac as sauce, and topped with taco tempeh, daiya, black beans, and cilantro.

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SO, the thing that makes these pizzas especially good is the homemade crust. And it’s fast, too! What you’ll need:

1/2 cup warm water
1 tbsp fast rising yeast
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp vegetable oil (any oil will work)
1 1/4 cups flour

If you don’t have a rolling pin, you should double this recipe (it’s tough to spread otherwise). I recommend using a fork for these next steps… Mix warm water and yeast in a mixing bowl. Mix in salt, garlic powder, and oil. Mix in flour. At this point, use your hands to continue mixing the dough. Now you can either let the dough sit and expand, or you can just go for it. Either way works.

Once you spread the dough, top with whatever you want, and cook in the oven at 400°F. Should take around 10 minutes to cook (maybe more, maybe less). Just make sure the crust is firm and the bottom doesn’t burn.

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Look at the happy pizza bb!

Here’s a fun little Christmas mix with some classic Christmas songs, as well as a few originals, by some really great artists.

1.) Angels We Have Heard On High — Sufjan Stevens
2.) Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) — Death Cab for Cutie
3.) Sleigh Ride — She & Him
4.) Snow Brigade — Mew
5.) Last Christmas — Jimmy Eat World
6.) Christmas Isn’t Safe For Animals — Of Montreal
7.) Put the Lights on the Tree — Sufjan Stevens
8.) Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree — She & Him
9.) Someday at Christmas — Stevie Wonder
10.) Charlie Brown Christmas — Vince Guaraldi Trio
11.) Christmastime — Smashing Pumpkins
12.) White Christmas — The Flaming Lips

It’s a super short mix because most of these songs are 2 minutes or less lol, but it’s nice to have some different versions of Christmas classics to listen to while you wrap presents & bake cookies!

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I have had these antler tips for over a year, and I was never really sure what I wanted to do with them. They were on this really tacky necklace I found at a thrift store, but I took them off and I’ve been keeping them until I thought of a good use for them! I finally decided I would paint them and make individual necklaces to give to some of my friends.

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What you’ll need:
+ Antler tips with 1/4in hole drilled in the top. [You can buy antler tips online with holes already drilled in them!]
+ leather chord/string
+ acrylic paint & brushes
+ Matte Finish spray paint

First, paint the tips with the acrylic paint. I chose to use a variation of pastels & chevron patterns. The neon yellow didn’t work out so well, which was a bummer; it dried too clear! I recommend sticking with more matte opaque colors. The dark antlers, like the ones I used are pretty bumpy so you have to go slow & be sure to fill the grooves to give the illusion of a nice straight line. Next, once they are dry, give them a coat or two of the matte finish clear coat. That’ll keep the paint from chipping. Wait a couple hours before finally stringing the leather through!

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I’m definitely going to order some & make more. I’d like to make some with the white tail deer antler tips, and the claw tines. I also think I’ll use a little gold to add some shine!

// Laura Jude //

Yesterday me and Michael made a delicious asian-inspired dinner! The quantities I’ve included in the recipe below are rough estimates.. so play around with the sauce until its the right balance of sweetness & vinegar.

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What You’ll Need:

-Rice noodles (this would also be good just served over rice)

-1 block extra firm tofu, diced/drained/pressed

-1 head of broccoli

-3/4 cup diced mushrooms

For the sauce:

-2 tablespoons soy sauce

-3 tablespoons Hoisin

-2 tablespoons rice vinegar

-1 tablespoon sesame seeds

-1 teaspoon ginger

-2 tablespoons minced garlic

-2 tablespoons cornstarch

-1/2 teaspoon orange zest

-1/2 cup water

-1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

-1 tablespoon sambel olek or Sriracha

I started by frying the broccoli and tofu with just a little oil. If you have sesame oil on hand that is best for this flavor profile. Once the broccoli has softened up a bit, add the mushrooms and fry for a little while longer. While you are doing this prepare the rice noodles according to package, usually you just let them sit in hot water for about 8 minutes. If you can multitask well start the sauce now too. I mixed all the ingredients in a sauce pan and then slowly added the cornstarch (mixed with cold water!) and whisked it together over medium heat. When all separate components are done cooking (you’ll know the sauce is done once it has thickened up) mix everything together in large wok and cook together for a minute or two to let the flavors meld a bit. Serve and enjoy! Great with green onion or cilantro for garnish. We ate this with summer rolls as a side!

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SO, like I said in my Nutella Brownies post, I am currently loving the idea of making everything I can using Nutella. This hot chocolate recipe is now quite possibly my favorite hot chocolate ever! It’s got the perfect balance of sweet & chocolate, and it’s not too heavy/rich. PLUS it’s got the really great twist of hazelnut in it from the Nutella.

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Ingredients:
3tbs Nutella
1 1/3 cup milk

Put Nutella and 1/3 cup of the milk [I used almond milk] in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk them together until Nutella is completely dissolved. Add the remaining milk and whisk until heated through. Pour into cup and enjoy!

I added whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon to mine ;]

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I will definitely be making this hot chocolate all the time. It takes no time at all & it is SO good.

// Laura Jude //

eggnogfrenchtoast_020Eggnog is something I LOVE about Christmastime. I love the flavor, but it’s so heavy, I have a hard time drinking much of it. This recipe gives you just enough of that yummy eggnog flavor without being too heavy!

Ingredients:
2 eggs, 1.5 cups eggnog, 1.5tbs cinnamon, 1tsp pumpkin pie spice, 12 slices of bread

Mix the eggs, eggnog, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Soak the bread in the eggnog mix, and cook on an electric skillet at 300 until golden brown [5-10 minutes].

eggnogfrenchtoast_019The recipe is really simple and only takes 20 minutes start to finish! If you use thick fresh bread like I did, make sure you let it soak in the eggnog mix for a good long while to make sure it soaks all the way through.
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Sprinkle with cinnamon & powdered sugar, drizzle with maple syrup and enjoy!

// Laura Jude //

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This weekend my boyfriend took me to Columbus, OH to see Cirque Du Soleil! It was his gift to me for our anniversary. We spent the whole day in Columbus, starting with a delicious brunch at a place called “Knead“. We chose this place because it was all freshly made with locally produced ingredients. It was a pretty cute place and the food was delicious! I had gingerbread pancakes — YUM!

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This dress makes me so incredibly happy! The color is so vibrant and the full skirt is so fun to run around in. It kinda makes me feel like I’m wearing a costume, but I don’t care! I love it too much! It’s got to be the best thing I’ve ever found at a thrift shop. AND a bonus was that it was super cheap because the zipper was falling out. Took me all of 10 minutes to fix that!

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dress & Felix pin & shoes//vintage, tights//Target

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After Brunch we walked to COSI!
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It’s a super fun science museum I hadn’t been too since elementary school, and I was way excited to go back! We had tons of hands-on science-y fun. [PS. Brian loves that sweater and wears it everywhere lol :p]

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There was a cool exhibit called “Progress”, and they had a whole 1950s town set up. We decided to take advantage of the 50s scenery since I was wearing a 50s dress, and snagged a few photos!
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OKAY. So. Cirque Du Soleil. First off, let me tell you, it was absolutely one of THE most amazing things I’ve ever seen! Neither of us really knew what to expect, or if it would actually be cool, and it far exceeded both of our expectations! It was beautiful and impressive, the “clowns” were hilarious, and the acrobatic stunts were terrifying and flawless! The overall theme was actually kind of dark and eerie, which we loved, and the music and costumes made it feel like we were watching some little Russian circus in the middle of no where 100 years ago — amazing.

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Basically, we had a great mini weekend get away. :] Sometimes, those are the best kinds of vacations!

// Laura Jude //

I revamped my little Ikea dresser! There isn’t too much for me to say about this DIY. I just taped off some triangles and painted the areas with some turquoise wall paint we had laying around. I bought the little knobs for the drawers at Anthropologie! They seriously have all the cutest little trinkets and such.

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I love little clusters of knick knacks! Here are some of my favorites: succulent in a AA art fair pot, various stones from friends, vintage owl and an old tin I’ve had forever full of bobby pins and junk.

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A few things I’m loving right now that are on my Christmas list! That gold sparkly dress would be perfect for new years, and I have wanted black Doc Martens & a raw crystal ring for FOREVER, but they are just things I don’t NEED that cost a little more than I want to spend. I’m planning on redoing my room soon, and hooopefully creating a studio space in our basement, so the Doctor Who print and lantern are super cute pieces I’d love to have to decorate with.

// Laura Jude //

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