My Happy Things 6.11.15

happy things

Hello friends.

I hope you are all having a wonderful Thursday night.  (It’s Thursday right??) (Probably).

Anyways, I am currently in Las Vegas for a night before I leave for London.  Even though I’m not there yet, I thought I would start with “my happy things” to kick things off and prepare for blogging abroad.

Here are my happy things for the week:

The trailer for Inside Out!  Like many people (mostly kids, I presume) I’m obsessed with Pixar/Disney, so I was super stoked when I first saw the trailer for this.  That was about a year ago, so this movie is a long time coming.  I’m not sure when the release date is in London, but since my mom is also crazy about kids’ movies, I’ll probably have to wait to see it with her anyways.

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These tulips in my kitchen.  I’m not sure where they came from (I imagine my roommate got them for his girlfriend), but I don’t care because pinkish purple tulips rock regardless of where they came from.

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Spending a day at Tahoe with one of my best friends!  I have a theory that there is no way to be sad if you are in Tahoe.  It’s just not even a possibility.

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Drinking coffee and reading my Bon Appetit at my favorite coffee place.  This is totally the usual, but I never complain when I have a pour over and a magazine full of beautiful food pictures.

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The pretty quad at UNR.  My iPhone does it no justice, but it’s truly one of the most amazing places on campus.

Fun fact: Every single time I walk through the quad, “Campus” by Vampire Weekend pops into my head.  Without fail.  Every time.

This video of one of my favorite bands/albums.  The Lonesome Crowded West is an amazingly nostalgic album even if you’ve never heard it before, and I always find it very raw and emotional.  Lately, I’ve really been on a Modest Mouse kick (actually, when am I not?), so I was really excited to stumble upon this video.  I haven’t watched the whole thing yet, but I definitely will be tomorrow during my 2 hour layover.

Other random things that made me happy this week:

Eating Mexican food with my dad and grandpa tonight after my plane landed.  Going home to the house I grew up in and seeing my puppy.  Finding a really amazing thrift store dress at half price (will make an appearance soon).

More happy things to come soon!

I can’t wait to show you all of the amazing things I find in London and Paris!  Ah!

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Song of the Day: Long Distance Drunk–Modest Mouse

P.S. I made the header picture from scratch all by myself using PicMonkey!  That website roxxxxx.

The One Where Sara Spent Her Spring Break Watching Too Much ‘Friends’ and Strolling Around SF

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Hallo friends!  Happy Easter!

My spring break was last week two weeks ago, but I’m just now getting to posting about it because I’m busy and in college because I spent my weekend getting tattooed, working, and volunteering at the art museum.

(So I’m not a total shit.)

But anyways…the title pretty much explains it all.  My spring break included watching a whole season of Friends and hanging out with some aunts and cousins in Napa and San Francisco.

A whole bunch of candid photos of myself and some random pics of San Fran is pretty much what you can expect of this post.  Someday I’ll get back to blogging like a real blogger (probably when my geography test this week is over and I don’t have to stress about that).

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My aunt and I drove from her house in Napa Valley (where I spent the first few days of my spring break) to San Francisco. We ended up at Flax, which is the coolest art store I’ve ever been to.  If you’re ever in San Fran and really like art stuff, you need to go to Flax.  You have to!

Their stamp selection alone is worth a visit.

(Yes I just got really excited about stamps.)

(Yes, I’m still single.)

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Then we went to a few little shops around the block…..

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And then we ended up at Sight Glass.

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Which was my haven.  (I could almost hear “Smelly Cat” walking through the door…)

Seriously though, just leave me here with a few pairs of oxfords and some of my favorite CDs and I’ll be the happiest girl in the world.

(Sight Glass.  Thank you for your amazing coffee and amazing boys.  Also, thanks to the super nice employee who geeked out about coffee with me, gave me coffee bags, and kept his judgments to himself.  You’re a swell guy).

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Next was lunch at The Rotunda in Neiman Marcus.

I literally ate a cheese plate for lunch.

(Now accepting applications for boys who enjoy stamps, coffee, Friends and cheese.  And girls who wear overalls…)

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Chinatown was the next stop.  I heart Chinatown.

A lot.

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Nothing makes me happier than doing touristy stuff in San Francisco.  Even if I move here someday, I will probably spend my weekends in Chinatown.

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And at Mocca.  A must stop lunch place if you’re ever in town.

Get the turkey sandwich with brie and cranberries.  Get iiiiiiit.

Remember the episode of Friends where Monica gives Ross her last leftover Thanksgiving sandwich?  The one with the “moist maker” in between?  The turkey sandwich at Mocca is a fancy version of that sandwich.

Also there’s no “moist maker”.

Which is fine with me.

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Random hallway in Chinatown.

Dress: Thrifted / Sweater: Old / Shoes: Aldo / Purse: Leather Shop / Sunglasses: Ray Ban
Dress: Thrifted / Sweater: Old / Shoes: Aldo / Purse: Leather Shop / Sunglasses: Ray Ban

For my trip, I decided to wear my new (old) thrifted plum-colored velvet dress.  It’s a new fave, and it looked great with my grey sweater.  (SF is chilly!)

Thanks for reading my weird post about San Francisco, my clothes, and way too many Friends references.

What’s your favorite place?

SerendipitybySaraSig

*Song of the Day: I Left my Heart in San Francisco–Tony Bennett

(I really did.)

DIY Reversible Coffee Sleeve

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In case you’re wondering if it’s a good idea to drink coffee anytime after 4 p.m., the answer is no.  It’s not a good idea.

Even if you have a test the next day and plan on spending the whole night studying (and don’t), maybe just fight the sleeping pains, and don’t drink coffee.

Or you’ll be writing on your blog at midnight when you still have to pack for vacation.

Uhhhhh.

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Anyways, I made these for my friends for a “Merry Late-mas” gift.  That’s when it’s February and you still haven’t given your friends their gifts.

Or something.

They were super simple to make, and I think they turned out pretty cute.  I actually like to put them around my coffee mugs at home as opposed to actual disposable coffee cups.  1. Because I always forget it when I go to a coffee shop, and 2. Because I’m one of those weird people that grabs the actual coffee mug and not the handle.

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Coffee places are actually one of my favorite places in the whole entire world.  You can catch me at a coffee house at least twice a week, maybe even more.  At one point, I went to my favorite place five times in one week.

It’s not something that I’m proud of, but I have to accept my flaws.

Also, as many of you know, I plan to open a coffee shop after I graduate from college.  So really, my nonsensical coffee obsession is all in the name of research.

My favorite place to research is called The Hub, and it’s a local place here in Reno.  They roast their own coffee beans, and their coffee actually saved my life.

They’re the kind of coffee place that make you realize the reason that Starbuck’s puts so much sugar in their coffee is to mask the taste of their sub-par coffee.

Sorry Starbuck’s.  It’s nothing personal really.  I still hit you up sometimes when I have a giftcard or something.

Anyways, back to The Hub.  If you’re ever in Reno, it’s a must stop.  I prefer their location on Riverside (by the Truckee River…amazing!) but they also have a location on Cheney, which is the OG Hub.  Order a pour-over (my favorite) or a latte (my second favorite) and you’ll be the happiest ever.

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I really love their logo, which is why there’s so many pictures of it on here.  Also, I have to show some coffee shop love for all the time they let me spend there studying.

P.S. These photos were not taken in The Hub.  Partially because I didn’t have my camera when I went to there on Tuesday, and partially because sometimes I just don’t want to be “that girl taking pictures of her food” in public.  I like to keep my food picture-taking a private affair.

But I did do my best to make my house kind of look like a coffee shop.  Which really isn’t too hard, because it already kind of looks like a coffee shop.  I mean, we have a Chemex, an Aeropress, a coffee grinder, the scale, the mugs…all we’re missing is the espresso machine (we’re taking donations).  (6.11.15 Update: We now have an espresso machine…)

Plus, when I was setting up my coffee table for the pictures, I realized that my Fleetwood Mac “Rumours” album was the perfect accessory.  My favorite coffee + one of my favorite albums ever = very happy Sara.

Unfortunately, I’m still trying to figure out my camera, so many of the pictures came out blurry 🙁  Boo.  Hopefully when I visit my family this weekend, my brother can help me figure it all out.

Alright, sorry for talking so much.  Here’s how to make these:

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Materials:

2 different fabrics (about 1/4 yard each to be safe)

1/4 yd. iron on adhesive fabric (I got the medium kind for insulation)

Elastic

Button

Thread, needle, sewing machine, etc.

Begin by taking a coffee sleeve from your favorite coffee shop.  Trace it onto some printer paper, and cut out.  (These were the blurry pics, so I didn’t post this step.  It’s pretty simple, really).

Trace the shape on to your two different fabrics and your adhesive fabric.

Iron the adhesive fabric onto the wrong side of one of your fabrics.  Lay your two fabrics good sides together.

Cut a two inch piece of elastic, fold, and place between the fabrics so a little bit is peeking out.

Sew around, the sleeve, making sure to back stitch over the elastic to ensure it stays in place.  Make sure to leave a two inch gap.

Flip the sleeve inside out.  Fold the seam in around the two inch gap, and top seam around the whole sleeve.

Fold the sleeve around a coffee cup, and mark where the elastic should meet the button.  Hand sew the button in place.

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These are the ones I made for my friends.

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And if you want, you can flip it inside out and make it reversible.  Or you could sew a button on the other side if you feel so inclined.

(I did not).

(But I may in the future).

Goodnight beautiful people.

SerendipitybySaraSig

*Song of the Day: Never Going Back Again–Fleetwood Mac*
(obviously)

Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake Muffins

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I wish I had that muffin right now.

Because I made them 2 weeks ago, and have been meaning to post the recipe since then.

And I’ve been a bad blogger.  I apologize.  I was sick all last week, which seems like the perfect time to blog if I hadn’t been sleeping the whole time.

But on another note, we finally got a new investment home my boyfriend and I will be living in for the next few years!  We are so excited to start painting and moving.  I also can’t wait to have such an awesome kitchen that I get to start cooking in.  Nice and sunny for perfect food pics!

Back to the muffins.  They are super yummy, cinnamon-y, and kind of have a caramel undertone to them.  Everything is good about these muffins.

They took a little trial and error at first, but the muffins eventually became just right!  The only downside is they fell a little flat which I wasn’t expecting.  Apparently, I need to work on a little baking soda/powder ratio.

However, the flatness did not take away from the taste at all!  They are definitely worth a try for Christmas morning or brunch with your family.

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Ingredients:

Muffins

2 c. AP flour

1 Tbs. baking powder

Pinch of salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. allspice

2 eggs

1 c. sugar

1/4 c. melted butter, cooled

1/2 c. buttermilk

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. milk (about; I estimated a little)

Topping:

1 c. flour

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. allspice

1/4 c. butter, softened

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Cinnamon Swirl:

3 Tbs. butter, melted

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Glaze:

1 c. powdered sugar, sifted

2 Tbs. milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat the oven at 350* F.  Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and the spices.  Set aside.

Whisk the eggs, sugar, and cooled butter together.  Add the dry ingredients, buttermilk, and vanilla.

 Mix the milk in lastly until just mixed.  The muffins will be dense if you overmix!

For the topping, mix the first four ingredients.  Then mix the butter and vanilla in until crumbly.  Set in the fridge.

Combine the brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon until the brown sugar combines into it.  Microwave for a few seconds if necessary.

To assemble, spoon the batter into lined muffin tins.  Using a toothpick, swirl 1 Tbs. of brown sugar/butter mixture into the batter, and top with 1-2 Tbs. of topping.

Bake the muffins for 12-14 minutes.

While the muffins bake, mix together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla.

When the muffins are finished baking, drizzle the glaze over the warm muffins.  Then they are ready to eat!

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I really might need to make these again this weekend.  They take a little bit of time, but they are by far worth it.

  • Gluten Free Version: Replace flour with quinoa or rice flower
  • Vegan Option:

Let me know what you guys think.

Stay Serendipitous!

XOXO Sara