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Like A Rainbow


Nothing like a bright, beautiful rainbow to put you in a positive mood, am I right? That's why I asked my friend/amaze hair stylist Mallory to semi-perminently install a rainbow on the back of my head. And when Daisy Faye Designs sent me this rainbow skinny scarf to try ahead of the release, I knew it was a match made in heaven! I mean, how cute is this look? It's just so fun!!

To complete this outfit, I decided to go full tilt color spectrum, so I grabbed my new favorite dress, and these rainbow-adorned keds.


To create this bow look, I simply tied the scarf into a bow shape like I would tie my laces, and treaded a bobby pin through the back, and attached it to my hair at the base of my bun.






Scarf {used as hair accessory}: Daisy Faye Designs
Dress: Target
Shoes: Keds
Cardigan: Zulily


 XO,
Annika

Summer-Fall Transition Drink: Pumpkin Spiced Thai Iced Tea

If you're anything like me, you are probably anxiously waiting fall's first crisp day, the sound of leaves crunching under your feet, and the release of the PSL.

Since it's still at least one hundred thousand degrees outside, a refreshing iced beverage is the only kind of morning drink I'll be sipping for a while. This sweet smoothness of the class Thai Iced tea, spiked with some hot spices and rounded out by real pumpkin, will make this crave-worthy drink your new go-to no matter the season.



Here's what you'll need:

1 Cup Thai Iced Tea Mix
1 Can Condensed Milk
1 1/2 Cup Half and Half
1/2 Cup Canned Puréed Pumpkin
4-6 Tablespoons Pumpkin Pie Spice (depending on taste -- I like mine spicy!!)

Prepare the Thai Iced Tea according to the instructions on the back, or -- my favorite way -- in a cold brew coffee maker. I like this one. I don't add sugar to this mix because there's plenty of sweetness in what comes next...!

Combine all other ingredients in a mason jar and stir/shake until completely combined. This will keep for a couple weeks in the fridge, but at the rate you'll be drinking it, it probably won't last that long. This creamer tastes good with everything!!

Fill a glass with ice and pour the Thai iced tea over until the glass is 90% full. Top with the Pumpkin Spice Creamer with a splash or a generous dose, the choice is yours!

Enjoy and let me know if you make it!

XO,
Annika

Simple Hand-Drawn Noodles

Last week I got it in my head that I wanted freshly made hand drawn Chinese noodles. I've made these noodles once before, but I couldn't track down the recipe that I used, so I kind of just went off memory... and they turned out great!

I thought I'd write down the recipe for posterity, and share it with you! While this recipe is time consuming, it's not particularly difficult, and the results are divine.

I first developed a flavor for these soft, chewy noodles when visiting my sister in Philly. There used to be a little hole-in-the-wall place in Chinatown called Nan Zhou (they've since moved to a larger, swankier locale, but the noodles are still cheap and delicious), and it is a must-go whenever we are in town. I love the Duck Soup with Shaved Noodles, or the Peanut Pork dish with hand-drawn noodles.

This recipe is a bit of a mash up between hand drawn and shaved noodles. It's technically not a shaved noodle, but the shape resembles it. You'll see.

I use a kitchenaid stand mixer with the paddle attachment to form and knead the dough and I couldn't recommend this method more!



HAND DRAWN / HAND PULLED NOODLES

Noodle Ingredients:

- 2 cups fine cake flour
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups lukewarm water

1. Pour water into the bowl of the stand mixer. Alternate adding each kind of flour, salt, and baking soda until a shaggy dough forms.

2. Turn mixer to middle setting and let the mixer knead for about 15 minutes. The dough should feel like clay and not spring back to the touch. Add more flour if the dough is sticky at all.

3. Wrap in plastic wrap, and rest for at least an hour.

4. Put back into the stand mixer, and knead again for 15 minutes.

5. While you wait, boil about a quart of water, with plenty of salt.

6. When the dough has been kneading for about 15 minutes, prepare your workstation next to your pot of boiling water with a cutting board, a rolling pin, a pizza cutter or knife, and a dusting of flour. Remove dough from mixer and set to the side of your work station.

7. Pull a tennis ball size piece of dough and roll to about 1/8 inch thick. See this video. Roll into a long and skinny shape, flipping your dough often so it doesn't stick.

8. Using your pizza cutter, slice the dough long ways into 1/2 strips. See this video. Pull up one noodle at a time and stretch and "tap" the noodle down on the cutting board. If you kneaded the dough long enough, there should be nice long chains of gluten developed, making the dough stretchy. Even so, be gentle so that you don't break your noodles short. Long noodles are more fun!

9. Drop your noodles into the boiling water and boil for about 2 minutes. See this video.

10. Pull the noodles from the water with a slotted spoon (do not strain), and place in a bowl with sesame oil. Reuse the water until you've made all your noodles. This recipe makes about 10-12 servings of noodles, and the noodles store well in a ziploc bag with oil until you're ready to eat them.


PORK FRIED NOODLES

Ingredients:

- 1 lb ground pork (mild italian sausage works great in a pinch)
- 1 head of garlic (lots of garlic! not a clove... a whole bulb!), roughly chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- red pepper flakes to taste
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1-2 cups broccoli
- 1-2 cups of Hand Drawn Noodles

1. In a frying pan, brown ground pork.

2. Once browned, add all other ingredients, combine, and cook on high covered for about 2 minutes, and then uncovered for about 5 minutes, or until noodles are crispy, and the broccoli is tender.

3. Serve immediately and ENJOY!!



Summer Bucket List 2018

I've been a long-time fan of Daisy Faye Designs, and I wear one of Kim's scarves almost every day. I'm excited to now be a brand stylist, and thankful to have received this scarf as a gift. Please use code ANNIKA15 to get 15% off your order. I can tell you that Kim almost never runs sales, so this is a big deal!


I can't believe it's already June! Time is flying. It's true what they say... the older you get, the shorter the years seem. Since summer is here, I thought I'd compile a list of must-dos, coupled with a few before-30 life goals. One of them is to try to have some semblance of a garden, so we popped over the Hewitt Garden & Design Center for some inspiration. I definitely didn't inherit my mom's green thumb {happy birthday, momma!}. but seeing these lush plants thriving had me inspired on so many levels.






Summer Bucket List {{Also, my 30 Before 30, because when the summer is over, it'll be my birthday!}}

1. Grow something in the garden
2. Have drinks and desserts on the deck
3. Do yoga outside
4. Get my first bikini wax (might need some hand holding on this one!)
5. Visit another southern state
6. Make a pie
7. Throw Alex a fun 30th birthday party // go on a boat
8. Catch a fish
9. Make popcicles
10. Hike in Percy Warner Park
11. Try three new local restaurants
12. Journal
13. Purge my closet
14. Sew something to keep for myself
15. Make pickles to gift to friends
16. Go to the zoo -- maybe even become members!
17. Make over my sewing studio
18. Find a pen pal
19. Go to a baseball game
20. Swim in a swimming hole
22. Make a farmer's market dinner
23. Start a gratitude practice
24. Master a bedtime routine
25. Go dancing
27. Jump on a trampoline
28. Pick strawberries
29. Paint the front door
30. Spend time with friends and family


Scarf: c/o Daisy Faye Designs. Use code ANNIKA15 to get 15% off your order!
Dress: Anthropologie, old. Similar here, here, here, and here.
Purse: Kate Spade
Shoes: Target


XO,
Annika

Why I didn't share about my second miscarriage

Last year, the week before my 29th birthday, I went in for my 7 week ultrasound, and I left with the news that my second pregnancy had stopped progressing.

I didn't really want to share with anyone because I was embarrassed. I had felt so confident that the second time around I could get it right, that after a short "pregnancy vacation" I would get pregnant again and see it through to the end. I felt that I had the power to not fuck this pregnancy up, and that it would finally result in a baby, instead of tears. That didn't happen. Everything I had imagined and planned for came crashing down right in the middle of my favorite season.

I didn't feel like sharing because I sort of felt like people had been so nice and so sympathetic, and that their reserves for me had been depleted. I felt like I had sort of played the miscarriage card already, and I thought people didn't want to hear it from me anymore. I felt that I only got one shot to complain publicly about my health and fertility, and I had used it up.

I know that the truth is that I shouldn't be embarrassed, it wasn't my fault, and that people had enough kindness to extend to me a second time around, but it didn't feel that way at the time. It felt humiliating and so crushingly sad, I didn't even know how to reach out and talk about it.

In case you do want to hear about it, I took the time to write down the second go round experience. It has been helpful for me to walk through it with fresh eyes, and I hope sharing this will be informative for anyone seeking to feel less alone.

Mac of the Month Club | Meeting One

Last Monday, we kicked off the new Nashville chapter of the Mac of the Month Club, a club that asks, can we eat macaroni and cheese every month?! And the answer, we hope, is yes.

I first heard about the concept of a Mac and Cheese Club from my sister, Lindsey. She belonged to a group in Philadelphia which met monthly at different restaurants to sample and rate their macaroni and cheese offerings. I love me some carbs and dairy, and I also love any excuse to hang out with friends, so I tapped Lindsey for the deets, pulled in my Nashville bestie, and all around restaurant and happenings spirit guide, Emily, to put the shebang together.

Since I'm a branding minded person who enjoys graphics, first thing on my list was making a scoring card to help evaluate our level of enjoyment. Feel free to nab the printable at the bottom of this post.

We brainstormed a list of the restaurants we'd most like to visit and came up with this ever-expanding short list: Merchants, The Sitllery, Peg Leg Porker, Publicity, Party Fowl, Mangia, Puckett's, Mile End, and Sambuca. We elected to try Peg Leg Porker first.

Here are the rules and guidelines to our local Mac of the Month Club:
1. You MUST order mac and cheese. {You may order anything in addition to the mac and cheese, but eating and rating the dish du jour -- which is always mac and cheese -- is mandatory.}
2. Reservations will be limited to groups of 8 for maximum bookability and minimum confusion. Reservations will be taken on a first come, first served basis.
3. Have fun!


Peg Leg Porker is a casual barbecue joint located The Gulch. Probably most well-known for its pulled pork, this cafeteria style restaurant boast cheap sides {only $1.95 each!}, a nice patio for when it's not raining, and super quick service. 

All four of us, of course, ordered a side of mac, but also doubled down on our sides opting for beans, potato salad, greens, and french fries. The meat eaters in the crowd also ordered some pulled pork sammies, and a basket of hot wings. Everything was delicious. I especially enjoyed my potato salad.

But we came here to discuss the mac.


Peg Leg Porker's mac and cheese side comes in a four ounce styrofoam cup, and costs just under two bucks. It's creamy, peppery, and really cheesy. Instead of elbows, Peg Leg serves their cheese with shells. Most voting members kicked their originality vote up a point or so for this twist, but to really get my attention for a unique twist, I'd wanna see some unusual ingredients. Still, for a pretty striaghtforward, classis BBQ place, this mac and cheese really hit the spot. My only criticism would be that it was a bit too "soupy" for me. I could have done with a bit less sauce, but other attendees enjoyed the extra liquid and used it for a french fry dip at the end of their meal.



All in all, our first meeting was a total hit! We stayed for long after the mac had been inhaled laughing and carrying on, and we can't wait for next month's meeting!

If you're planning on starting your own chapter, please let me know, and download our rating card to get yourselves started!


 
XO,
Annika

Fringe Benefits







Have you ever been shopping and your heart literally skips a beat? I came across this fringe jacket at the beginning of the year, and I knew I absolutely needed it, even though I had no where to go in it. It's just so me. I've always had a hard time defining my style -- when it comes down to it, I like what I like: color, fun, stretchy pants, kate spade everything, and lots of sparkle. It can't be categorized, but this lovely piece of outerwear certainly falls into it.

The one thing I do know for sure about my personal aesthetic is that I am a redhead. It wasn't always this way. I believe my first foray into gingerdom was in college and it just seemed to fit. I have really pale, fair skin, and my mom was a natural auburn-haired lady until she moved from Alaska to California and the sun bleached her hair a platinum blond... so I like to think that I carry off this fiery color. 

So when my genius hair stylist, Mallory, asked me if I wanted to kick my color up a notch, I was totally game. And check out these cute bangs she cut into my new, more layered style. I LOVE it!!


Fringe Jacket: Anthropologie
Turtleneck: Amazon
Jeans: Target
Sunglasses: kate spade


XO,
Annika
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