Apple Cider Donut Recipe

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Donuts are one of my all time favorite treats. I would eat them breakfast, lunch and dinner if that was allowed. And obviously when fall rolls around it means one thing: apple cider donuts.

I usually get them from the farmer’s market if they have them, but this year I wanted to try to make my own. I’ve heard donuts are pretty hard to make and I’m not the best in the kitchen, so I was a little nervous. I followed this recipe and I have to say, they turned out pretty well! {I included the recipe below too}

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Ingredients

(makes about 2 dozen donuts):

1 cup unfiltered apple cider

3 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided

½ cup well-shaken buttermilk

3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted

2 large eggs

2 cups sugar, divided

2 quarts vegetable oil

 

Directions

1. In a small saucepan, boil apple cider until reduced to about 1/3 cup, 12 to 15 minutes, then set aside to cool.

2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

3. Mix together reduced cider, buttermilk, butter, eggs, and 1 cup sugar until well combined. Add flour mixture and mix on medium speed until a dough forms (it will be sticky). {This can also be done by hand if you don’t have a stand mixer. I did it by hand.}

4. Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface  and roll dough into a 13-inch round (about 1/3 inch thick). Cut out rounds with floured donut cutter, about 2- 3” in diameter and transfer to a floured baking sheet. Repeat with scraps. Reroll the dough only once, as it will start to become tough if it is rerolled too many times. {Note: Keep making sure that the surface/donut cutter/your hands were covered in flour I found that it was much easier to cut the donuts that way.}

5. At the same time, pour vegetable oil into a 5-quart heavy pot and heat oil over medium- high heat. ( Sprinkle a tiny bit of flour into the oil, when it sizzles, the oil is ready.)  Carefully slide donuts one at a time into the oil and be careful not to crowd pan. (If pan gets crowded with donuts the temperature will drop and you will have soggy donuts)

6. When dropped into the oil, the donut will sink to the bottom and then float to the top after about 20 seconds. When each donut floats to surface, turn over and continue to fry until golden brown, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

7. Cool slightly; dredge in cinnamon sugar made from remaining cup of sugar and remaining teaspoon of cinnamon.

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What are your favorite fall treats? Also, be sure to tag me in your pictures (on Twitter or Instagram) if you try the recipe! I’d love to see.

 

Books I’ve Read (and Loved) Lately

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I’ve always been a reader, but lately I’ve been really making an effort to read more before bed. I got into the habit of binging on watching a show on Netflix or scrolling through my Twitter feed before turning out the light and (spoiler alert: all of the articles are true!)  I could tell that it really did affect my sleep. So over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to log off at least an hour before bed and it really has made a huge difference.

I’ve read so many really great books lately, so I thought I would share some of them with you!

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The Secret History by Donna Tartt

I read The Goldfinch earlier in the summer and really liked it, so I was excited to pick up this one. I think I liked The Secret History more than I liked Goldfinch. Tartt is an excellent writer and I got completely wrapped up in this book. It’s about a group of university students, who are kind of outsiders. I don’t want to give away too much, but something happens that changes their lives and their relationships with each other. This book was intense and kind of dark, but I really liked it and would definitely recommend it!

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

This book was so good! It’s about a group of friends (the call themselves The Interestings) who meet at a creative summer camp and what happens in their lives and relationships from when they meet in the 70s and up until current day. Some of them ended up being really successful with their artistic endeavors and others didn’t, which leads to some jealous moments and resentful feelings. This book is all about close friendships and the ups and downs that go along with them.

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Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

I was so excited to read this one. This book is just as quirky, intelligent and hilarious as you would expect. I couldn’t put it down! She shares lots stories of her experiences as a female in her twenties. From stories about boys, to work, to dealing with insecurities, it has a little bit of everything. While I was reading it, I couldn’t help but feel like I was just at a coffee shop, catching up with a friend. Couldn’t recommend it more!

What have you read lately? Anything good?

October Playlist

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Places We Know / Jacob Pearson
Breathe In ft Wafia / Japanese Wallpaper
Draw Your Swords / Angus & Julia Stone
For Emma / Bon Iver
Let It Go / James Bay
Sinner’s Sonnet / Andrew Whitman
Tenuousness / Andrew Bird
I Can’t Make You Love Me/Nick of Time / Bon Iver
Foreigner’s God / Hozier
In A Week / Hozier ft Karen Cowley
Sway / RHODES
A Collision / Jacob Pearson
Water / Jack Garratt
Blood / Osca
Come Into My Arms / Lion Bark
The First Thing You See (Live) / Bruno Major
Friends (Acoustic) / Eliza and the Bear
I Lost Myself / Sivu

Listen here!

How to Deal with Anxiety

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I’ve mentioned before that I have anxiety (read that post here) and while my anxiety usually doesn’t affect this space -in fact, this blog has been one of the ways I’ve dealt with my anxiety – I haven’t been posting as much lately, as some of you have probably noticed.

Some life things have happened recently and that has caused my anxiety to rear it’s ugly head, so I’ve taken a little bit of a break over the past few weeks to really focus on all of those anxious feelings and worries.

There are a lot of different ways to manage anxiety, from therapy to medication to tons of methods in between. I thought I would share some of the things that have worked for me and hopefully this post will be able to help any of you who also deal with anxiety and are looking for some ways to cope with it.

9 Ways to Manage Anxiety:

1. Quiet time. This can be anything that helps you relax. I usually make myself a cup of tea, light some candles, listen to some music and just breathe. I’ve also found that curling up with a good book in my most comfortable pajamas after a hot shower works for me too. You could meditate, scroll through Pinterest, or watch funny cat videos on YouTube, whatever makes you feel the most relaxed. That’s the key here.

2. Do some light exercise. Exercise as a way to deal with stress seems to work well for a lot of people, so go for a run or do some cardio. I’m not super athletic, so I’ll usually go for a walk around my neighborhood or do some yoga. I’ve found it really helps me to focus on something other than what is causing me to feel anxious. Getting some fresh air is always good.

3. Write. I’ve found writing to be one of my favorite ways of dealing with my anxiety. Getting whatever it is that is worrying me down on paper really helps.

4. Talk about it. Surround yourself with positive people that you feel comfortable talking to. I know firsthand how hard it can be to talk about having anxiety and how hard it can be to explain exactly why and how you’re feeling anxious. Being able to talk to a friend, family member or even a professional that understands makes all the difference.

5. Face your fears. This is kind of a nightmare for someone that has anxiety. It’s easier just to avoid the situations that make you feel anxious, but that’s no way to live. So work on becoming a “yes” person. Here’s an example. Sometimes I experience social anxiety, like going somewhere that I don’t know anyone, and I dread it. But I can’t just avoid those situations. Even though it makes me uncomfortable and I would rather just say no, I make an effort to participate and I usually end up glad that I did.

6. Work on changing your thinking. This takes a lot of effort and a lot of practice, but it is possible. When you have those anxious thoughts or you feel an anxiety attack happening, take a second to calm yourself down and then change all of the negative thoughts you’re having into more positive ones.

7. Focus on the present. This is a big one for me. A lot of what I feel the most anxious about (and I don’t think I’m alone here) is future oriented. I really try to stop and remind myself to concentrate more on what’s happening right now, not five or ten years down the road.

8. Let yourself think about the worst possible scenario. This isn’t always my go to tool for managing my anxiety, but in certain situations, it definitely does help. If you allow yourself to play out a situation with the worst possible outcome you can think of, you’re prepared for the worst. And most of the time, what really happens will be nowhere near as bad as you expected it to be.

9. Cry. I don’t cry often, but every now and then, I let myself have a good cry about something and it makes me feel a lot better. There have been times where I felt like crying was the best way for me to deal with feeling anxious. Sometimes you just need to get it out of your system, so you can move on.

Do any of you have anxiety? What are some of your tips and tricks for dealing with it?

5 Instagram Accounts to Follow

thetrottergirlthetrottergirl

All of Eva’s photos are bright and really well thought out. I’m guilty of liking ALL of them. She’s one of the founders of Trottermag, a webiste that features curated city guides. And if her posts on Instagram are any indication, she really knows her stuff.

megangilgermegangilger

I’ve read Megan and Mike’s blog The Fresh Exchange for a long time. It’s one of my favorites. I love reading about their travels, the community they work hard to create and about their lives as creative entrepreneurs.  I admire how hard they work to create beautiful and authentic content and moments. Have you see photos of their Simple Evenings? Swoon.

ifitwagsifitwags

Where do I start with this one? I’m obsessed with German Shorthaired Pointers in general – I want to adopt one (or maybe two?) so badly!! These two GSP brothers, Gus and Trav, are just beyond adorable. I seriously can’t get over them.

emmajanekepleyemmajanekepley

Emma is a Brooklyn-based photographer. All of her photos are super cool and she has amazing style! She has such a great eye and I always like seeing what she posts.

 

drifterandthegypsydrifterandthegypsy

I love Micaela’s blog Drifter & the Gypsy and I equally love her Instagram feed. I really like her sense of style and she always seems to be up to something fun.

Are you guys as obsessed with Instagram as I am? Let’s be IG friends! Follow me here

Photos from my Canada Trip

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Recently, I went on a trip with my parents to our family’s cabin in Canada. Like I mentioned here, I had the chance to unplug from all things Internet, wander around taking photos and write.

I wanted to share some of my favorite photos from my trip. The fall colors on the trees was UNREAL and I couldn’t stop taking pictures.

Every summer at the lake, I remember writing about our week in the journals my grandma keeps at the cabin. The journals weren’t there (she likes to take them back home at the end of the summers) but I wrote about my week anyway so I can add it to the journals  and share some of what I wrote here.

Our cabin is one of those places where no matter how long it’s been since you’ve been there, it doesn’t feel like any time has passed. It feels exactly like home. Out of all of the places I’ve been able to travel to, the lake is still BY FAR my favorite place on Earth. There’s just something about it. While I was there, I read The Interestings and in the book one of the characters describes their summer camp. She says that “nothing is as close to heaven as this little patch of land” and that’s exactly how I feel about our little spot. I can’t wait until I have a family of my own to bring here during the summer and fall and share all of the stories and memories about growing up here. The entire week, I couldn’t stop thinking about how lucky I am to have a place like this to go to.

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On our last night there, we had an unexpected visitor. A few people at the lake said that there had been bear sitings near all of the cabins. I didn’t think we would actually see it, but this guy broke into our shed and stole our trash. It was equally scary and really cool. Naturally, we opened the cabin door to take pictures…..

Up North

Canada

Today, I’m up bright (even though its actually still dark out) and early and headed up north to our little spot in Canada. I grew up going every summer, but haven’t been back since my freshman year of college. I can’t believe it’s been that long and I can’t even express how excited I am to be back in my happy place. I said to my mom the other day that it’s more exciting than Christmas – and I LOVE Christmas!

It’s one of those places that whenever I’m feeling stressed about something, I close my eyes and pretend I’m there. Every now and then, there will be a smell or I’ll see something that reminds me of it and I can’t help but smile.

The lake is surrounded by woods. It’s so quiet and peaceful there and I can’t wait to get away. There’s something about being in a place with no iPhones, no emails and no social media that makes me really excited. As someone who tends to be glued to her phone,  I’m so grateful to have a place that I can go and completely unplug from everything and just not think about that kind of stuff.

The contents of my suitcase looks something like this: cozy sweaters, new books, my camera and an empty notebook to jot down the inspiration that is bound to hit with a whole week of sunsets like this (^^^)  one. All you really need, right?

Hope you guys have a great week!

September

Good Things Come To Those Who Hustle

My mind is blown by how fast 2014 has gone by! It honestly feels like I blinked and now it’s September and there are only four months left in the year. If you’ve been reading (thanks, by the way!) See Shel over this past year, you know it’s been an interesting one for me. It’s been a year of changes, challenges and frustrating moments…but also lots of learning, growth and fun experiences for me.

I usually make an entire list of goals for myself each month, but this month, I think I’m going to stick to one overall goal and really put all of my focus and effort into it. And that one goal is to simply “start”.

There’s a running list I keep in my notebook of all of the things that I want to accomplish over the next year – and even farther down the road. I need to stop talking about doing these things and actually do them…because none of these things will ever get done if I don’t.

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The Perfect Fall Outfit

Fall Favorites

 

Fall is the best season for clothes – that should go without saying, right? Right around this time of year, my countdown to when I can officially break my fall wardrobe out starts. There’s just something about layers and neutrals that I can’t get enough of! I’ve thought about moving to somewhere that has fall weather all year round on more than one occassion…

A few weeks ago, I went to the Outside Lands festival in San Francisco and it was a fall wardrobe lovers paradise! I was sure to take some mental notes on outfit ideas from all of the uber-stylish people that were there.
This fall, you’ll probably find me in layers, flannel, chunky scarves and, of course, a classic black tee.

See Shel Read: More or Less by Jeff Shinabarger

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Over the past year or so, I’ve been making a more conscious effort to live a more minimal and simple lifestyle. I’ve always been a firm believer that less is more, but living in a world where everyone is always after more, it can be easy to get caught up in it.

I recently read More or Less and it completely changed the way I thought. In the best way. It’s not just about living a more minimal lifestyle, it’s about determining what is “enough” for you in every facet of your life and then using your excess to generously give to those who don’t have anything.

I also liked that at the end of each chapter, Shinabarger gives a sort of challenge for you to do that goes along with what the chapter was about. It makes sure that you aren’t just passively reading the book, but actually doing these things and making these decisions throughout your day or week that help you during your “enough” process.

It was such an inspiring read and I would definitely recommend it to anyone and everyone who is even the slightest bit interested!

Have you read More or Less? What did you think?