Tree Lighting

Last night we went out to see the tree lighting at The Village. The only tree lighting I had ever been to is the lighting that happens down in The Grove (downtown Boise) every year, which I've been to many times. I thought it'd be fun to switch it up and go to the first ever lighting at The Village, and Will thought it a great idea to not have to drive as far. We missed most of the celebrations (I guess they started at 5:00?) but it was still nice to walk around and see all the pretty lights. They've got that place all ready for Christmas with lights strung across the streets and through the trees, a small outdoor ice rink, a little cottage for santa, and now a beautifully light tall Christmas tree. Despite the huge crowd of people, it all felt a little magical.

Snippets: Thankful

I just wanted to stop in very quickly and say to all those of you who celebrate it, I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving yesterday full of family and food. I am feeling very thankful for the people in my life (especially those two faces above) that I love and who love me and, for whatever reason, I'm loving this time of year more so than ever.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend
xx Emorie

P.s. I was so busy yesterday that the only pictures I took were of the food I made. In case you're curious they were a Chocolate, Coconut, Macadamia Nut Tart and Cranberry Thyme Gin and Tonics. Yum.

P.p.s. I will hopefully be back later with a DIY for the ear warmers I wore here. If not, expect it tomorrow or Monday.

Wears: Winter Walks

I think we can safely say that winter is officially here. We have yet to have any snow stick around but there is a nice view of it in the mountains. And there just may be some in the forecast for early next week; I'm crossing my fingers that it sticks this time. I'm also sticking with tradition and wishing for snow on my birthday again, I've only done so every year for as long as I can remember. This girl knows what she likes.

Despite the persistent chill, I've been making an effort to still get out of the house once a week for a nice walk. That means lots of layers and cozy outfit additions. I was silly yesterday afternoon though, when we went for this walk down in the park, and completely forgot a pair of clothes. Brrr guys. At least I had my thermos mug of chai to help out a bit. I had made a mental note that when we were taking pictures that I would take of my coat for a few of them so that you'd be able to see the rest of my outfit fully. I may have forgot. Or it may have just been too damn cold. Sorry guys. I guess you'll just have to expect a coat over all my outfits for the next few months. Just zoom in real close? Also isn't Will really good at getting slightly awkward candid shots of me? I like it.

Outfit Details
Dress (it has whales on it, if you can't tell): Urban Outfitters, years ago (similar)
Striped Pullover Sweater: Element from Zumiez, years ago (similar)
Tights: Macy's
Boots: Modcloth
Coat: Old Navy, last year (similar) see it here and here too
Scarf: DownEast 
Ear Warmers: handmade/DIY

I hope you are enjoying the season, even if it is butt-cold where you are too. I'm getting so excited for all the festive things that happen around Boise this time of year. You know, all the events I always say we should go to and then we never follow through. But I am determined this year, I've added them all to my calendar for motivation. Thanksgiving tomorrow (!) and then the tree lighting downtown on Friday. I also want to go ice skating at the new outside rink at The Village and walk around Winter Garden aGlow at least once.

I'll be back on Friday to share a tutorial for the ear warmers I'm wearing!
xx Emorie

Roasted Pepper and Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

When I contacted Gabrielle of Hippie Go Lucky about being apart of my new feature series, she also expressed the desire to put together a little recipe swap. And I, of course, immediately said yes please please please. We picked a theme: fall-type food (a pretty open and delicious theme selection), rounded up a few of our favorites, and sent them off to one another to try and then share on our blogs. I was most excited about this Sweet Potato Quinoa recipe she sent me and got right around to making it this weekend, and making it my own.

I made this Saturday for dinner and it was a big hit. Mostly, I'm just fairly proud of myself that I was even capable of functioning enough to make dinner on Saturday, let alone a pretty involved salad with numerous steps, because I was having one rather mighty Dr Who hang-over. The Day of the Doctor was like early Christmas, mostly because David Tennant. P.S. Did anyone else watch the Graham Norton show later (with Matt Smith & David Tennant as guests) and see his braid!? OHMYGOD. Anyway, it worked out in my favor because I could walk away from the kitchen a lot while things were roasting, and take a break while things were cooling, to catch more of the all day Dr Who madness.

I think this salad snapped me out of my craze (even if I watched more Who while eating it, shhh) because it was so good. Surprisingly delicious. Way better than I was anticipating. It is a little involved, but still easy, great for a Saturday dinner. The combination of flavors is completely perfect, the spicy honey lime dressing contrasting the smoky roasted peppers and the sweet potato. The feta and avocado are what really make this salad though, so try not to leave them out.

Roasted Pepper and Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad
yield: serves 4 to 5 | adapted from this recipe

For the Salad                                                           

1 cup uncooked quinoa (will make 2 cups cooked)
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 large sweet potato, cubed
      + olive oil and a bit of salt for roasting
1 orange bell pepper
1 jalapeño pepper
1/4 of a large sweet onion, chopped
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 to 3 cups fresh spinach
a handful of chopped cilantro
avocado, sliced for topping

For the Dressing                                                     

1/4 cup olive oil
The juice from one lime
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 tablespoons honey
salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Begin with roasting the peppers; they will take the longest (about 45 minutes). Place the jalapeño and bell pepper whole on a small foil lined baking sheet. Rotate the peppers (put a different side down on the pan) using a pair of tongs about every 10 minutes to insure even roasting.
3. In the mean time, chop the sweet potato into small cubes and toss them in a bowl with some olive oil and a few pinches of salt until all pieces are evenly coated. Place these on a separate foil-lined pan and throw them in the oven to roast when the peppers have about 20 minutes left.
4. Roast until the sweet potatoes are tender (about 20 minutes) and the peppers' skins have started to blacken, shrivel, and blister (about 45 minutes).
5. While the vegetables are roasting, cook the quinoa in the vegetable broth. When done, pour into a large bowl and set aside to cool.
6. While waiting for the peppers, potatoes, and quinoa to cool, whisk all the dressing ingredients together and set aside.
7. When the peppers are cool to the touch, peel off the skin and remove the ribbing and seeds and chop into small pieces.
8. Toss the chopped onion, roasted potato cubes, the peppers, spinach, and the feta in the bowl with the quinoa. Pour in the dressing and give everything a good toss.
9. Top each serving with a garnish of cilantro and fresh avocado slices.

xx Emorie

Inspiring People I've Met Online: Gabrielle of Hippie Go Lucky

I'm starting a new feature series today and the lovely, talented Gabrielle of Hippie Go Lucky has agreed to go first. One of my favorite things about blogging, and other online communities I have been apart of, is all the inspiring people I have come to know. I just can't resist the urge to share some of these beautiful people with you. Some of the people I introduce you to will be dear friends of mine, some are individuals whose work I am continuously inspired by, others will be people I have just come across yet for some reason I can't stop obsessing over what they bring to this wonderfully vast online world.

I'm so excited to start and introduce you to some rather remarkable folks.

Without further ado, Gabrielle of Hippie Go Lucky.

I first came across Gabrielle's blog in a slightly interesting way, through a 'similar blogs' link on passionfruit back in the day when I still used them to manage my swaps. I instantly feel in love and was impressed by her photography. But that's not the interesting part. This had been an almost falling asleep on the keyboard late night find, so I made a mental note to visit her blog the next day and find out if she participated in ad swaps. Being as I was far less organized back then in reference to my blog life (and still no idea what I was doing, oh wait that's now too) I easily forgot about it and her blog was forever lost in the abyss of my internet history just waiting for me to remember. A few months later I got a new follower on instagram and she was super sweet, liking a bunch of my stuff and commenting on things. And she looked super familiar. Her profile picture at the time (the same as used for her button on my sidebar) is pretty iconic. When she started commenting on my blog I quickly followed a link to her's and I was so happy I got to happen upon her blog again. I'm telling you people, the internet is so awesome!

I am a huge fan both Gabrielle's photography and her blog. Her work is something I am constantly inspired by. She is kindly answering a few questions today and sharing a generous sampling of some photography, so you can all get to know her a little better and quickly fall in love with her, too.

Q: Can you share a little about yourself and what you do?

A: I love to create, feel and listen. I am obsessed with symmetry, but I am far from symmetrical. I’d say I am messy and lazy type, very empathetic and carefree.

I am a graphic designer by day and photographer by night.

Q: Where did the inspiration for your blog/to start a blog come from?

A: I wanted a place to share my everyday life in pictures. For me blogging wasn’t about writing at all. Although I love reading other people’s blogs, my pictures speak more than any words I could write. I have been following blogs for over 5 years now and I have to say, it completely changed my life.

Q: I love your instagram feed and your ability to beautifully capture everyday moments in a unique way. Do you have any tips for how to do so?

A: I guess what motivated me to capture unique photos was my routine. I’ve been biking on the same trail everyday for the past six months, so I started analyzing my surroundings and amusing myself by finding new things on my path to photograph. Everyday I challenge myself to take a picture of something in my surroundings that I had not noticed.

Q: What is your favorite subject to photograph?

A: I love what humans bring to a picture; feelings and movement.

Q: Are you a morning or night person? What is your perfect morning/night (depending on which is your favorite) routine?

A: I am, without a doubt, a morning person. I love to wake up to the sun rising, just lie in bed and have the time to think, get up & make coffee, sit where the sun peaks and chat with D about life.

Q: What is a favorite thing of yours to do where you live?

A: I love going to coffee shops early in the morning. Bluebird coffee is my favorite – A cozy little place with jazz music, great coffee and huge windows.

Q: I have noticed your wardrobe is full of many thrifted items. Do you have a favorite place to thrift? And what is your secret to finding such great pieces among the piles of discarded clothes?

A: Two years ago I decided to only encourage handmade, fair trade or recycled clothing. You can read more about it here. I actually buy almost all my clothes at The Salvation Army. I love the feeling of finding a great vintage piece among the piles of discarded clothes. Looking through all of the rasks of clothes can get overwhelming, you have to keep in mind you will almost never find what you are looking for on the first try. You need to take your time and be patient.

You can find more of Gabrielle's beautiful photography and work on her blog Hippie Go Lucky.
For even more find her on Instagram (highly recommended), Pinterest, Facebook, Youtube, and Tumblr.

Thank you so much for sharing a bit of yourself with my readers, Gab!
xx Emorie

Warm Vanilla Sugar Body Scrub

I've mentioned before that I've really enjoyed making all of my Christmas gifts in the past and so I was planning on doing that again this year. I've got a few posts lined up to share with you what I've been busy crafting. If you're on the look out for fun, easy, and unique DIY gifts, hopefully I can give you a few ideas. This scrub is definitely something that will show up in a few people's gifts. It can be packed up so pretty, smells heavenly, and works wonders on skin. I just have to share it with some of my favorite people!

Do you remember the cinnamon honey salt scrub I made a few months back? I've been pretty obsessed with homemade body scrubs since then. I mean, they are simple to create (usually with things you already have in your kitchen), smell great, work better than any body scrub I've ever purchased, and fairly cheap. I like this sugar scrub even better than the salt scrub I made. It's a bit gentler and lots sweeter. I love vanilla this time of year, it's a really warm cozy scent. A nice exfoliation with this scrub in a hot bath sounds like the perfect end to a cold winter day to me. 

Warm Vanilla Sugar Body Scrub

3/4 cups raw cane sugar
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup coconut oil solid
1/3 cup almond or olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 to 3 teaspoons vanilla extract or a few drops essential oil 

+ Combine the raw cane sugar and the regular sugar in a large bowl and mash it together with room temperature (solid) coconut oil. This looks just like butter and sugar does creamed together. A fork works best here, to evenly distribute the coconut oil and leave no large lumps.
+ Add the honey, almond or olive oil, and vanilla stirring with a spatula until combined.
+ Finally, stir in the brown sugar. Add more vanilla, if desired, until you reach a scent you are satisfied with.

Storage and Usage: 
+ Store in little glass jars. These can be packaged up nicely for gifts; create a label for the lid of the jar and tie some pretty ribbon around.
+ If desired, top the scrub with a few sprinkles of brown sugar and/or coconut flakes before packaging.
+ To use the scrub, apply to dry or damp skin rubbing gently for a bit and rinse off.

Enjoy exfoliating and moisturizing!
xx Emorie

Artsy Fartsy: Julian Landini

Julian Landini is an Argentinean artist who uses simple techniques to create truly striking illustrations. His drawings from ballpoint pens, with the occasional addition of colored pencils or watercolors, are a lovely peek into his everyday life and an unique description of where he finds beauty and inspiration. The use of bold colors contrasted with black and white cross hatching is playful and fun. I feel his artwork to be a celebration of everyday life and the simplistic beauty found in small intimate moments. Landini's use of people around him, mainly women, as his subjects is often sensual, but never overdone. Julian keeps it raw and straightforward, resulting in a gorgeous, unique, and powerful portrayal of femininity. I find it all refreshing and inspiring.

All images via Julian Landini's blog. See more of his work there and on his flickr, tumblr, and deviantart.

Previous Artsy Fartsy Features:
Sarah McNeil