December, 2012

  1. Gluten and Dairy Free Cranberry Bliss Bars

    December 23, 2012 by Emma

    I love Starbucks during the Holiday season– they’ve got red cups, gingerbread lattes, and cranberry bliss bars! I was definitely missing out on this treat this winter, so I figured I would make a gluten and dairy free version myself. They’re just as delicious and surprisingly simple! And they go perfectly with a cup of coffee :)

    Cranberry Bliss Bars
    Recipe adapted from 3sisters

    Cookie Ingredients:
    -1 1/2 cups all purpose gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
    -1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
    -1 1/2 sticks softened margarine
    -3 eggs or 3 tbsp ground flaxseed + 1/2 cup and 1 tbsp water for a vegan version
    -1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    -1/2 tsp salt
    -1 tsp xanthan gum
    -3/4 cup cranberries

    Frosting Ingredients:
    -1/2 package (4 oz) Tofutti dairy free cream cheese
    – 2 cups powdered sugar
    -1 tsp vanilla extract
    -3 tsp lemon juice

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all cookie ingredients, adding the cranberries last, and pour into a 9×13 inch pan. Bake for 20 minutes.

    While the cookie is baking, mix up your frosting. Whisk together the cream cheese, vanilla, and lemon juice first and then mix in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Once your cookie is cooled, add the frosting and sprinkle 1/4 cup dried cranberries on top. Chill before slicing.


  2. DIY Luggage Tag!

    December 16, 2012 by Emma

    I’m sure all of you are done with buying and making your Christmas gifts (unlike me!), but if you’re still looking for a cute little something, might I suggest an applique luggage tag? It’s perfect for the wanderluster in your life, and you can customize the applique silhouette to their interests! It doesn’t take long to whip up and is a lovely homemade gift. Read on for the step-by-step instructions and printable template.

    1- First things first, gather up your materials. You’ll need:

    -sturdy fabric to make up your base
    -fabric for your applique
    -clear vinyl
    -tissue paper
    -matching thread
    -sewing machine
    -pattern which you can download HERE

    For both the base fabric and the applique, I used naugahyde (fake leather) so that it would stand up to the wear and tear of travel. You don’t need much, either, I had a 1/4 yard of each and I had more than enough! I’ve included the silhouette I used, but you can always draw your own in the blank template to make sure it fits. Some fun ideas could be a crown, a heart, or their initials. Go wild!

    2– Use the pattern to cut out two tag shapes from your base fabric. These will make up the body of your tag. Cut out one rectangle shape from the clear vinyl using the template. This will become the slot that houses your information in the tag.

    3 Use the silhouette pattern to cut out one shape from your applique fabric.

    4- Pin this silhouette onto one of the tag shapes. Using your matching thread (or contrasting for a different look!), neatly hand stitch around the edge of the shape, making sure it’s secure.

    5- Using the pattern, cut out the long rectangular strip. This will make up the loop of the luggage tag. Feel free to make this longer than the pattern, as the longer it is, the easier it is to take on and off.

    6- Fold in the two long edges of the rectangle about 1/4 of an inch and iron flat. Test out your iron on a piece of scrap fabric first! If it burns it, you can sew your edges in rather than ironing them down. Then, fold your rectangle in half lengthwise again so that you have a long, skinny strip of fabric. Sew this down the middle.

    7- This is what you should have so far!

    8- Place your rectangle of vinyl on top of the base of the tag without embellishment, making sure to line up the bottom edge. Place a sheet of tissue paper on top and pin down. This will allow the vinyl to go through the sewing machine without any trouble! Stitch along the three dashed lines in the pattern. This makes the slot for you to put your information card in.

    9- Fold your strap in half and place it between the two tag pieces. Make sure that the outsides are facing each other! Sew the top edges together, leaving the bottom open.

    10- Flip the tag right side out. This is what you should have!

    11- And this is what the back should look like. 

    12- Fold in the bottom edge of the tag and stitch it down. And voila! You’re done. This would make an absolutely lovely gift paired with a travel journal or make an airplane survival kit with an eye mask, earplugs, and a nice hand lotion (under 3 fl oz of course)! Or you could always keep it for yourself ;)

  3. Stripes and Snow

    December 9, 2012 by Emma

    This is what’s left of the so-called blizzard that blew through Holland yesterday. It’s still at the stage where everything is lovely and glistening, but it’s quickly turning to slush. I do love the concept of snow, but I’m not so fond of it in reality. Sure, I’ll go out and frolic for a bit when it first starts falling, but I much prefer to watch it snow from my room with a cup of tea. And, to make matters worse, I always seem to fall when I attempt to walk in the snow, no matter how deliberately I step. So despite my best efforts at staying warm, I always end up with a soggy bum.

    I feel like I’m hitting up the blogger cliches with this outfit– stripes, mustard, topknot, red lips– but it can’t be helped! I was trying to channel a Swedish vibe, and clearly all bloggers are obsessed with Sweden. The reason for this Scandinavian style? I’m going to Stockholm for the upcoming weekend! You have no idea how excited I am, Sweden has been the place I most wanted to visit and I feel like it’ll be absolutely magical during the Christmas season! I can’t compare to those effortlessly cool Scandinavian ladies, but I can try. It does get hard to look effortless when you wear approximately 4 sweaters and a puffy coat, but hey, I’m from Hawaii. I get cold.