Welcome to my city cookies!

Well, actually I can’t make you those cookies because I accidentally ate half the chocolate chips when I was catching up on Game of Thrones.

So.. I made you these equally delicious Lemon Raspberry Muffins to welcome you to Seattle. Enjoy! It tastes as wonderful as the Seattle summer.

muffin collage

Lemon Raspberry Muffins
Adapted from The Glossy Life

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1c greek yogurt
  • 1c + 1tbs sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • Grated zest from 2 lemons
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2c butter melted
  • 1 1/2 c raspberries (approx 2 small boxes, less a few for “tasting”)
  • 1/3c freshly squeezed lemon juice

Please check Alyssa’s blog for instructions as I followed them with only a few ingredient substitutions (mostly because of pantry restrictions).

Sincerely,
Erin

Birthday Cake

If it’s your birthday, I must insist you have cake!

… if they are cute little cupcakes with butter cream frosting, even better.
… if they have sprinkles on top, even better-er.
… if they have sprinkles inside the cake, even better-est.

Birthday cupcakes

Baking these cute little cakes made my apartment smell amazing and I’d love to bake you a cake on your very next birthday.

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes
From: Sally’s Baking Addiction

Cupcakes:

  • 1/2c unsalted butter, melted
  • 1c granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4c greek yogurt
  • 3/4c milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 + 2/3c all purpose flour

Vanilla Buttercream:

  • 3/4c unsalted butter, softened
  • 3c confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 heavy cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste

Check Sally’s for the full instructions!

Happy day!
Erin

Travel is a learning experience: Top 6 tips, Spanish style.

spain2 (1)espana

Hola,

I’m sure you know by my instagram feed that I had an amazing time traveling solo in Spain! As amazing as it was, there were a few little (major) hiccups that threw me for a loop. I’d like to prevent you from partaking in my mistakes, friend, so I’ve put together my top six tips for when you visit the country of bullfighting, Flamenco, paella, sunshine, and sangria.

1. Bring some Euros.

Spain and many other European counties are primarily cash oriented so the lady behind the pasteria counter will not be happy if you try and charge a 0.75 Euro croissant. Also,  if an ATM eats your debit card because you don’t have some fancy microchip – like mine did on my second day – you’ll be thankful if you at least have a little cash in your pocket to get you to your back up plan.

2. Jamon Serrano.

Eat it. Eat as much Jamon Serrano as possible.  Your belly will thank you, but your waist line not so much.  But who cares, you’re on holiday!

3. Get to know the city to city travel schedule.

The beautiful city of Valencia held me hostage an extra day as I didn’t realize there was only one train that makes the daily voyage to Granada.

Also, book your ticket as soon you know your plan because “tren completo” are the saddest words to see when you thought you were ready to move onto your next city.  While you are at it, book your ticket online to save yourself the hassle of waiting in line for an hour to speak to someone that may or may not speak your language.

4. Ladies, cover up!

The Spanish women dress pretty conservatively. Avoid ogling and snarky looks by covering up. This is the one piece of advice I can give you NOT based on personal experience but by observation.

5. Spain is for amigos y novios.

Bring some! Or make some! It will only enrich your time.

6. Take your time seriously.

Take your time as seriously as the Spanish do. When it’s time to eat – eat, relax, and drink. It’s the most important lesson I learned and hope to practice more of when I’m back home.

¡Que te diviertas!

Sinceramente,
Erin

A letter to my 31 year old self

Dear 31-year-old-Erin,

Happy birthday!

You are about to have a tremendous year.

Last year you said you would visit one old friend and one new friend every year. Go ahead and cross that off your list by catching the red eye to Boston on the eve of your birthday. Dedicate your birthday to Ferris Bueller by having a randomly fun day with your new(er) friends, the Beers, and your old dear friend, your sister.  You’ll end your birthday having the most delicious birthday dinner with these east coasters that are so dear to your heart.

If an opportunity presents itself to spend a long weekend at someone as outrageous as a camp for grown-ups– take it. You’ll have the most enlightening weekend in the Red Wood Forrest, just by surrounding yourself with nature and inspirational people that will pierce your mind with openness your and heart with light.

And if things fall apart at work, remember that not everything is in your control. Stay centered and true; focus on the things that really matter. If you do happen to work too hard because you really just care too much, take a trip away! Renew your lapsed passport and make a plan to use it. You love to travel – visit a place you’ve never been. Take a sister if you can. I hear Costa Rica is a really lovely country.

As you continue to get your life in order, remember to take care of your body. It’s your temple after all! Eat more fresh foods, cut out those crap fake sugars, and move more. You may start to shape into the physical appearance you’ve been trying to get to for years. But most importantly, you may start to feel better

Above all, remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. You’ve got to continue to take those little steps forward to get to the life you want to live.

But most of all, dear Erin, remember to have fun!

Love,
Now-32-year-old-Erin

Eight Years

I’ve known you for 8 years.

Know how I know?

Because when we became friends eight years ago you were just about to turn 32. Thirty-two, the age that I thought was weird to be hanging out with a 24 year old. Thirty-two, the age that I will be in a few short days.

To me at that time, 32 sounded so old and so grown up. Thirty- two. I told you it was an age that you should have your life together, married with babies, a dog, and work at a job that you love from 9am- 5pm every Monday to Friday.

Thirty-two seemed old but you never did. You were carefree and fun and liked to dance in the living room. We stayed up till 2am on Wednesdays eating Goobers and Girl Scout Cookies and watching silly youtube videos. You’d drag me to midnight movies even though we both had work at 8am. And interestingly enough, you were the one that still got carded at the theatre.

And now that I am rounding that corner and about to be 32…

Thirty-two doesn’t seem so old.

What was I thinking back then?

There’s still lots of time to figure out the plan and be a grown up!

But now you’re closer to 40.

And that’s old.

You should really be a grown up by 40.

Unless of course when I turn 40 I decide it isn’t really the age that you have to be a grown-up…

Sincerely,
Erin

 

I’m sorry/ not sorry

I’m sorry/not sorry that I stayed in bed all morning and caught up on the League.
I’m sorry/ not sorry that I had coffee and tater tots for breakfast.
I’m sorry/not sorry that I was excited their were three kinds of kale to choose from at the market.
And I’m sorry/ not sorry that this salad does not photograph well.

Image

You’re just going to have to trust me on how delicious it is.

Sweet Potato, Kale, Cranberry and Quinoa Salad
Adapted from The Kitchen Mix

  • 1c quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 large bunch of Dino kale
  • 2/3c cranberries
  • 1/4c balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbspn coconut oil
  • 1 tbsnp agave nectar
  • salt to taste

Check the Kitchen Mix for the how-to (and some great hip-hop learnins’)

Sincerely,

Erin

Erin’s Top 3 Things to do in Costa Rica

Hello, Friend.

I’m not sure about you but I find it incredibly overwhelming to plan for vacation. As a typical type A, I like to plan activities, book travel, and have back up options for each day. But with that, I’ve found that I spend more energy planning/replanning during my trips. Vacations are supposed to be relaxing, aren’t they? Ya.. that’s what I’ve heard.

Years ago I devised a planning system. No matter where you go, you can have only one Top 3 List. It’s a list that helps you prioritize your trip with the activities, places, foods, etc that are most important to you. It’s also important for your traveling partners to have their own list. So, before I left I created my list and shared it with my sister as she was my traveling partner. Thankfully, our top 2 were the same.

Erin’s Top 3:

  • Ziplining
  • Beach loungin’
  • Eat plantains, drink Costa Rican beerImage

Check. Check. Check.

Costa Rica was a success!

Erin

P.S. I’ll fill you in on more details soon!