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  1. Christmas in Florida

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    December 17, 2013 by Jenn

    My mom still lives in south Florida and every December I go home to visit. This year I took Patrick and my bestie Kurt. Here’s a look.

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    1. 12 hours after leaving Baltimore we finally get to the border
    2. First stop: Waffle House. Naturally.
    3. 2nd stop: South of the Border. Naturally.
    4. Spooky broken down hotel
    5. Shark head.
    6. Boys at the beach.
    7. The illusive “sand face”
    8. Me and the skyline
    9. Patrick, victorious, after helping my mom seal cracks on her roof.
    10. Emma the dog.

    <3

     


  2. Peppermint Bark

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    December 14, 2013 by Emily

    The Christmas season always makes me flashback to my junior year of college when I was working at a store… that rhymes with Silliams-wanoma (I’m a master of concealing names right?!) I loved being surrounded by kitchen gadgests I couldn’t really afford, and the candles that smelled like pine tree.. and the room in the back full of samples! Being a clean freak that I am I actually volunteered to work in the kitchen that was in the store room, cleaning all the dishes and machines we used for demonstrations… but I also got to prep all the samples.

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    Including the peppermint chocolate bark. Good gravy, I wasn’t even a chocolate fan and I HATED peppermint…but it was SO.DAMN.GOOD.

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    I wanted to recreate the peppermint bark at home so I could bring it in as a gift for my coworkers, the recipe is super simple (and quick!) I was able to find everything I needed in the baking aisle and whipped this up in just a few minutes.

    What You’ll Need:

    1 pound of dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1 10 ounce bag of white chocolate chips
    1/4 teaspoon peppermint candy flavoring OR 1 teaspoons peppermint extract
    15-20 crushed peppermint candies (I used the little round starlight mints, if your using candy cane 5-6 should work)

    Method:

    Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper

    Melt 3/4 of the dark chocolate in a double boiler over low heat, when the chocolate is melted remove from the heat and stir in the remaining dark chocolate until its melted (this will help the chocolate keep its temper) stir in the peppermint extract and spread evenly on the lined cookie sheet.

    Allow the chocolate to set for at least 1 hour.

    Repeat the melting process with the white chocolate chips then spread evenly over the dark chocolate layer, immediately top with the crushed peppermint candies, pressing gently to make sure they stick.

    Allow the chocolate bark to set at room temperature for about 1 hour before breaking into jagged chunks, and then try not to eat them all.


  3. Spicy Ginger Bread Cookies

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    December 9, 2013 by Emily

    This weekend my older sister came to visit and help me decorate my christmas tree. Our day consisted of the pandora christmas stations, watching The Nightmare Before Christmas and drinking a little — ok a lot– of wine. But we also needed nibbles! So before the decorating extravaganza started we made some roll out cookies , and since the season demands it… they were gingerbread!

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    This recipe is a good balance between a firm roll out cookie and a chewy gingerbread cookie… just the way I like ‘em!

    What you’ll need to make about 3 dozen 4 inch cookies:

    5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 1/2 teaspoon salt
    5 teaspoons ground ginger
    5 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
    1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1 cup packed dark brown sugar
    2 medium eggs
    12 oz molasses
    Royal Icing

    Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices together in a large bowl. set aside.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter and sugar together at medium speed with the paddle attachment until fluffy. Add the eggs and molasses, mixing until combined.

    Lower your mixers speed and add the flour and spice mixture mixing until combined. Make sure to stop and scrape the bowl down every so often to ensure everything is getting mixed nicely.

    Divide dough in 2, flatten into disks, wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.

    When you’re ready for cookies, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

    Roll your dough on a heavily floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out your cookies and place onto the baking sheet, leaving 1/2 inch between each cookie. Bake 12-14 minutes until firm, remove from the pan and cool on a rack.

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    I used royal icing to add some decoration and expression to my gingerbread men, but if you don’t have the patience for that, don’t worry! They’re super yummy sans icing too!


  4. DIY Spooky Fence

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    October 30, 2013 by Jenn

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    Halloween is tomorrow and I just can’t wait. Emily and I are doing Guns N Roses. She is Axl and I’m Slash… photos to follow. Anyhow, I enjoy a good spooky front yard. However, we don’t have a front yard. Living in Baltimore city, we basically have a flower bed. So I worked with what I had and came up with a spooky fence and sign for our front “yard”. Here’s how to make it!

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    You will need:
    - gray spray paint
    - thin wire
    - wood (I found these cool small stakes from my local hardware store for 50 cents a piece)
    - sandpaper
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    - white paint
    - water
    - paintbrush

    How to:
    First I took all of my wood pieces and spray painted them gray.

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    I sanded the wood a bit with the sandpaper to make them a little rough. Next you’ll want to white wash the wood to make it appear older. White wash in stores can be expensive and it’s much easier to make your own. Just mix water with your white paint until it has the consistency of glue. Paint the gray wood with the white wash mix until it looks spooky. I then nailed the wood into the front flower bed. Once all my pieces were in order, I wrapped the metal wire around them. Super simple and easy.

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    To make my beware sign, I took a wood piece from my boyfriend’s stock and spray painted some of the edges red and used black acrylic paint to write beware. Again, so easy.

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    We spray painted a few old boxes gray and organized our pumpkins on them. Voila. Spooky front yard display.

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    I used yellow and orange lights all around the perimeter of the flower bed to make it look spookier at night.

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    Yay! Halloween party is ready for tomorrow night. What’s your favorite way to decorate?


We are a collective based out of Baltimore, MD dedicated to showing you how to live a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget. We believe in the power of creativity and fun. We believe that anything is possible and we would like to inspire you to do the same. Thanks for stopping by!

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