Is It Still a Party If I Don’t Wear A Dress?

Insanely gorgeous fall weather today. I didn’t even need my sweater most of the day!

This is the simple outfit I wore to a dear friend’s little girl’s birthday party. Had to keep things simple for chasing kids rolling down hills and such. But it made me wonder: is it still a party if I don’t wear a dress? I almost always wear dresses to parties!


               Obviously I DID bring a cake. So I think as long as I bring a cake and/or wear a dress, it’s                                                                                        definitely a  party. 


Leather leaf earrings: Go Fish // Tank w/ Zipper Up the Back: Banana Republic // Jeans: ON // Boots: Steve Madden// Eiffel Tower Necklace: ?? // Ring: Kohls // Jacket: F21
Oh! And a Friday vlog for you 🙂 
Oh here’s one more pic of that cake. Gluten-free, all-natural, vegetable-colored sprinkles for the win!

Happy Friday, dears!
xo
Natalie

Revitalize Part 2

{This week I’m giving you my tried & true, tested, specific ideas for getting out of a slump!}
Tuesday:
Overnight Oats//Solid Breakfast

{overnight oats with banana, sunflower nut butter, and chocolate-covered cacoa nibs for the win!}

A solid breakfast in the morning consistently really helps me when I’m feeling out of sorts. It takes a teeny tiny bit of effort, but the results are so worth it. I actually enjoy the routine of making my overnight oats at night and relishing the fact that I will have a refreshing, healthy breakfast to grab while I read my #HelloMornings. I wake up, start my tea water, and check in with HelloMornings. Then I top my oats, make my tea, and settle in to read scripture for awhile. Such a good way to bring light back to your heart. To get in the habit of making my oats, I made a fridge chart and made them every weekday for a week. Then I did it the next week. Now it’s second nature!
Overnight Oats

In a bowl combine: 
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (gluten-free if need be)
1/2 cup yogurt (I like banana or raspberry)
1/2 cup milk (I’ve been doing coconut milk or almond milk)
Glug of maple syrup
1 tsp. flax seeds
Mix well, cover, and refrigerate overnight. It’s that easy, and it uses one measuring cup and one spoon. In the morning, top it up! I usually do banana, chocolate-covered cacao nibs, and sunflower nut butter, but I switch it up sometimes. Try adding jam or dried fruit, fresh berries, or anything else you can come up with! I fiddle the first week with several overnight oats recipes with different ratios, and this was my personal favorite. But feel free to add more or less liquid as you please.
Enjoy!

xo

Natalie

Tea Cakes {with Coffee}

These little tea cakes are just so adorable. They are happy, and that makes me happy 🙂 And they taste about 1000 times better than they look. 

I know these are technically meant to be eaten with tea in the afternoon. But I say, Why not with coffee in the morning? I’m an adult, I can make that call, right? 

Besides, the light was landing on that one in the back, illuminating it and saying, “Pick me! Pick me!” 
Eat dessert first! And by first, I mean, for breakfast!

Oh. Yeah.
I also ate an egg for breakfast because, y’know, adults have to make the tough decisions.

These would be brilliant to have in a pretty basket down on the kitchen counter by the coffee maker for early-rising Christmas guests. They’ll feel like royalty in a 100-diamond hotel. Which is way, way, way better than a 5-star hotel. Duh!
This is the marvelous Gesine’s recipe, which I made gluten-free using Bob’s Red Mill GF flour, added some almond extract, and used my mini-mini bundt pan from Nordicware. Show her the love for this amazing recipe!
 Enjoy! 

Eggnog Chai Latte

{see the cute tiny little Swedish Santa?}
You may or may not have noticed that I’ve been digging the seasonal drinks lately. 
I jumped on the Pumpkin Spice bandwagon this autumn, but what REALLY makes my tastebuds jump with holiday joy is the Chai Eggnog Latte at Starbucks. This drink, you guys. I have been having a love affair with it for about ten years. Back when I was a sous chef, the head chef would occasionally order coffee for everyone and they all just got regular coffee, but he knew to order me a Chai Eggnog Latte so I would do a good job on amuse bouche that night to make him look good! Ha.
Anyway, I just knew I HAD to try to recreate this (expensive) delicious drink at home this season. 
You know what?
It tastes even better made at home. My mom (the resident coffee snob) said, “This is way better than Starbucks.” High praise from her! 
And I’m totally going to share the recipe with you, because it’s easy and just far too good to keep to myself. 
I only keep the mediocre stuff to myself, because you don’t need to know about all of the mediocre things I attempt. They’re my little secret. 
I’m really, really wordy tonight with this post, and throwing in a lot of useless information. While I’m going there, I might as well tell you that I had to make an emergency run to the dollar store tonight to get more glue sticks for my glue gun. Super important information.
{A “Sprinkle” of cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger, along with a nutmeg to grind.}
Now, I know, I know, I’ve kept you waiting. Sorry. Here it is: 
Eggnog Chai Latte 
by Good Girl Style
A little less than half of a mug of eggnog (make sure your eggnog is gluten-free if necessary; some aren’t)
A little more than half of a mug of hot, strong coffee (to fill the mug, obviously)
A “Sprinkle” (1/32nd of a teaspoon) of: cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg
A splash of vanilla
Sugar to taste (I used approximately 1 tsp., some like it sweeter)
Whipped Cream
A dash of cinnamon to top
Heat the eggnog until very hot but not scalded. (Easy way: just throw it in the microwave). Stir in the spices and vanilla. Add the coffee. Add the sugar. Stir well. Top with whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon. Makes 1 mug.

Now, I’m pretty sure these would be amazing with the Chai Shortbread Cookies. If I had any left. But you can feel free to bake up a batch and share with me.
Yeah?
Enjoy!
(PS. Make one of these lattes for your mom. She’ll love you for it)

Chai Shortbread Cookies

These cookies are quintessentially Christmas-y. 
They are like Christmas Stars saying, “Be Merry! Be Bright!”

Oh my goodness they’re yummy, yummy.

And pretty. They are everything a Christmas cookie should be. 
Chai Shortbread Cookies
by Good Girl Style

Cookies:
1 package Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free shortbread cookie mix OR 1 recipe of your favorite shortbread cookie recipe
1 1/2 sticks butter (for cookie mix)
1 large egg yolk (for cookie mix)
2 TBSPs. water (for cookie mix)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 to1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cardamom
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Icing:
2 cups confectioners sugar
2 TBSPs. corn syrup
4 TBSPs. water (more or less as needed)
1/2 tsp. almond extract (it’s clear so it keeps the icing white; OR 1/2 tsp. clear vanilla extract)
To decorate:
Cinnamon
Star Anise
Cinnamon Sticks
To Begin: Follow the package directions for the cookie mix OR for your favorite shortbread cookie recipe, stirring in the spices to your own liking. Place the dough onto a lightly floured work surface; give it a few good but gentle kneads until it comes together. Flatten dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1/2 an hour. Once chilled, cut the dough in half and work with half of it at a time on your lightly floured work surface. Roll to desired thickness (I made some thick and some thin…they both taste great, but the thin ones were very fragile). Cut your cookies with lightly floured cookie cutters. Since this dough is fragile, take your time and use a thin spatula to help you move the cookies if need be, flexing the cookie cutters to gently release the dough onto the cookie sheet. If the dough becomes too warm, chill the cookies and dough before baking. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-18 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of your cookies. Repeat process until you have used up all of the dough. 
Carefully, carefully, carefully slide the cookies onto a cooking rack with a thin spatula. Once completely cooled, make the icing. Sift the confectioners sugar into a medium bowl. Add the corn syrup and flavoring. Slowly add the water while mixing until everything is incorporated and you have a stiff icing for piping the edges. You want to be able to pipe it, so it should be stiffer than regular icing. Put a quarter of this icing into a pastry bag with a very thin round tip, or into a Ziploc bag with the top twisted and the tiniest corner snipped off. Outline the stars with this icing. 
Now add the rest of the water to the leftover icing to get the consistency of a normal or “flooding” icing. Fill the pastry bag or Ziploc again and flood the inside of the stars to fill them in with icing. Let dry. 
Sprinkle some with cinnamon, leave some plain, and add Star Anise to some.

ENJOY in good Christmas spirits!

PS> I served these with Pumpkin Spice Eggnog.  

Weekend Baking: Pop Tart Cookies

So. You’re gonna wanna make these cookies
Like, soon. 
ASAP. 
Eat them for breakfast, snack, dessert.
Eat four of them at once if you’re feeling self-indulgent. 
Consequently, you’ll feel particularly motivated to exercise. 
If you, like me, had a cinnamon pop tart, toasted, every day of your elementary and middle-school life, and you had to go gluten-free, those deliciously sugary treats are one of the biggest things you miss. 
But they’re back! 
Just make these cookies. 
Eat them. 
And then, for pete’s sake, go exercise. 
{that’s a note to self}

Thank you for the recipe, Dana!

Chartreuse & Blueberry

Helllllllllllooooooooooo!

Chartreuse + Blueberry = Delicious Color Combo!

Actual Blueberries + Ginger + Chocolate = Delicious Coffee Cake
And then, because it certainly isn’t hot enough in my apartment {hah!}, I decided to turn on the oven and bake! How could I not with these beautiful wild blueberries? They just pleaded to be folded into a ginger coffee cake, with their buddies Scharffen-Berger chocolate chunks {the good stuff}. I’ve got some pretentious blueberries on my hands, don’t you think? And then this coffee cake demanded to be served with the “good stuff” ice cream for dessert. As if being #1 for breakfast wasn’t good enough! Hmpf. See if I make you again, Blueberry-Ginger-Chocolate Coffee Cake!
Ok, I totally will since it was utterly delicious and indulgent.

Style Secrets: Sunnies: Local Store, White tee: Local store. Necklace: Tag Sale, Skirt: Thrifted, Pumps: Thrifted
xo!


Brownies with Nutella

Just because it’s Monday afternoon and you’re probably sitting at your desk or school trying to stay awake…
My weekend treat weakness…fudge brownies with miniature chocolate chips, frosted with Nutella. 
Goodness, get in my mouth. 
These are super easy to make, and I’m sure you already have a favorite brownie recipe (GF or otherwise), so just bake up a batch, then let them almost-cool, and slather on that hazelnut-chocolate gooey delight. 
Eat, swoon, repeat. 
And you can thank me after you wipe that chocolate off your mouth 😉

Snack Time

I’ve discovered the quintessential snack: a cinnamon roll and tea/coffee. The best part about this? It works for ANY time of day: breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, supper, bedtime snack, midnight snack….yep. Any time of day.

Oh, oh, oh, and a song, too, since I’m majorly on this 50s/60s kick:

“One fine day, you’re gonna want me for your girl…”

+++++++
I’ve been struck by this verse lately:
 “God sets the lonely in families.” ~Psalm 68:6

Isn’t that such a beautiful thought? Incredibly beautiful. I, for one, know that in my own life, God has brought this to pass. I have been in valleys of darkness, feeling very lonely and far away from family. And He has been faithful, and shown me the love of the family of God in an incredibly powerful way. It is such a deep blessing to experience the fellowship of family. God cares so deeply and desperately for us. He is crazy-in-love with us. He wants us, and He takes care of our every need. Indeed…He sets the lonely in families. I’m not sure it gets much better or more beautiful than that. 


Weekend Mornings

I’ve found it. At long, long, long last: I’ve found it. A gluten-free breakfast sandwich. Yes, yes, it’s true. So deliciously true.
You’ll need these–they are the key. They don’t look like anything much, certainly not like a standard english muffin. But watch it toast. Watch it toast a beautiful golden brown. Butter the insides, if you are feeling like throwing caution to the wind. And then put the egg, cheese, bacon, sausage, ham, avocado, whatever you got on top, and squish it all. The squish is the most important part. 
I’ve got a mind to assembly-line these, wrap them in foil, and freeze them. Then in the mornings I could just throw them in the oven! Yes, yes!

xo,
Natalie