Coffee + Dark Chocolate Bark

Coffee + Dark Chocolate Bark 2 - offbeat + inspired

I’m not sure why Christmas has declared itself the chocolate bark holiday. Yet for some reason around this time of year, you can find these decadent chunks of chocolate in nearly every grocery store or at almost any holiday party. While I personally vote for it being around all year long, I’ve officially jumped on the Christmastime chocolate bark bandwagon.

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Pecan Rooibos + Orange Soap

Pecan Rooibos + Orange Soap 5 - offbeat + inspired

I’m one of those people who usually can’t think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving. I have friends who have to hold themselves back from decking their house out with red and green before the end of October, but I always feel like I want Thanksgiving to have its chance in the spotlight.

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Let’s Talk Denim…

Jeans can be a sore subject for some of us. I come from a tall family and between my two sisters and I, there’s been plenty of griping over bottoms in general being too short, too tight in the hips, too big in the legs and basically unflattering on our pear-shaped selves.

After years of denim-hunting and gathering, I believe I’ve identified the tall-pear-girl jeans problem. Low rise. Not all low rise jeans are bad, but in my experience, most just don’t work in our favor. If it fits in the hips, my legs are swimming, and if it fits in the legs, I can fit another person down the back of my pants. Not fun. Even low rise styles intended for hippy girls that do fit well in the hips and legs still don’t flatter the pear shape. They accentuate hip width, leaving the silhouette bottom-heavy with few redeeming options to balance the look up top.

Oh hey, high waisted jeans! Lovely to meet you!

As with all timeless high rise styles, one of the major benefits they offer is accentuating…you guessed it, the waist. When the band of your jeans sits above the hips, it draws the eye upward, which pronounces a feminine silhouette and complements both the hips and the waist while lengthening the legs. Hello, gorgeous!

Let's Talk Denim... - offbeat + inpired

Styling high waisted jeans is also 10x easier, as you can tuck in almost any top (or if you’re super trendy, work in the cropped styles) and be ready to go. I was having this conversation with my sister and decided to illustrate her in a side-by-side comparison to show the difference waist height can make.

I also took the discussion to my Instagram (@tifforelie), asking for some recommendations on where to find the best high waisted jeans. Here’s what I got back:

@abby_tohine recommends Anthropologie and vintage boutiques.
@rockcandy85 recommends Guess.
@erineliza_ and @littlebirdlee recommend Urban Outfitters’ “BDG High Rise Skinny“ – available with a 34″ inseam, score!
@ohmmade recommends J-Brand’s “Maria” and Citizens of Humanity’s “Rocket Skinny Jeans“.

Thanks so much, you stylish gals!!

I also read a blog post just yesterday by the lovely Beth over at Local Milk, featuring the “Elizabeth” high waisted jeans from Imogene + Willie. They look fabulous.

Do you rock high rise jeans? What’s your favorite denim brand? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the curvy girl/jeans conundrum (with links to your favorites if you have them)!

Loose Leaf Tea 101 + A Giveaway [Featuring K'Tizo Tea]

KTizo 2

We love spreading the word about things we love – whether it’s coffee, flannel shirts, bags, or jewelry. Our latest favorite? K’Tizo Tea.

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Coffee + Vanilla Sugar Scrub

Coffee + Vanilla Sugar Scrub - offbeat + inspired 1

Can you believe it’s already November? Before you know it, Christmas will be here – which means if you’re anything like me, you have the best intentions of getting those gifts done early but will instead find yourself frantically shopping on Christmas Eve. Sound familiar?

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Orchard Style: Flannel + Plaid and a Giveaway with Duluth Trading Co.

Orchard Style: Flannel + Plaid [Featuring Duluth Trading Co.] - offbeat + inspired

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with flannel for a long time. I’ve always loved the rustic and cozy look you can pull together on a moment’s notice with a soft plaid button-up, a good pair of jeans and some leather boots. I’ve always hated that so many of the flannels I’ve tried over the years were either too flimsy, a poor fit, or just completely uncomfortable.

Duluth to the rescue…again. As I mentioned recently in my camera bag post, I met the lovely folks from Duluth Trading Company at this year’s Haven Conference. They had a booth set up with some fabulous leather goods and outerwear for my touching and drooling pleasure. I fell in love with their leather bags instantly, but was more reserved when it came to the flannels and jackets (as I’ve been hurt before…). I assumed that because Duluth’s focus is durability and comfort, the apparel may be lacking in style and fit. I figured the shirts would be boxy, the jackets would be shapeless, and while the materials would be of the highest quality, I expected them to fall flat as part of an outfit intended for going out rather than wood chopping or deer hunting. WRONG.

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Bourbon Cider Cocktail with Cinnamon + Ginger

Bourbon Cider 1

Mulled for hours with spices and served hot in your favorite mug or crisp and cold from the orchard market, apple cider is (at least in my mind) the quintessential fall beverage. As soon as the leaves turn and the weather gets cold, I start toying around with new cider recipes to savor throughout the season.

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Painted Clock Makeover + A Few Lessons Learned

Annie Sloan Clock 1

This is a sponsored post brought to you by Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan. All opinions are 100% my own.

“If you only do what you know and do it very, very well, chances are that you won’t fail. You’ll just stagnate, and your work will get less and less interesting, and that’s failure by erosion.”
–Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit

Every once in a while, creative projects happen like magic. What you envision in your mind flawlessly comes to fruition in real life. At least for me, those times are rare. More often than not, creativity involves trial and error, hard work and more than a few redos. But eventually you’re left with a project, a recipe, a photograph or a piece of furniture to be proud of.

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In My Camera Bag [Featuring Duluth Trading Co.]

In My Camera Bag [Featuring Duluth Trading Co.] - offbeat + inspired

First, the bag. I’ve been on the hunt for a solid camera bag for a while now. I have the official Canon Backpack, which works great for storing all my gear — but when I’m planning a day of shooting where I’ll only need my DSLR body, 2-3 lenses and a few spare batteries/memory cards, I don’t want to be carting a 30 lb. pack all over town. I needed something light, simple and durable. Enter the Lifetime Leather Convertible Messenger bag from Duluth Trading Co.

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Butternut Squash + Apple Soup with Apple-Gruyere Crostini

Butternut Squash + Apple Soup with Apple-Gruyere Crostini - offbeat + inspired

There’s something relaxing about making soup. Maybe it’s that I don’t feel the pressure of getting the concoction right the first time. As long as I use a large enough pot, I can add ingredients until I’m content with the taste. I’ll admit, I’ve been known to transfer a soup-in-progress to a larger pot for this exact reason. Unfortunately, there did not exist a container big enough to fix my “random leftover veggie disaster soup”.

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