Ginger + Honey Sparkling Lemonade

Ginger + Honey Sparkling Lemonade - offbeat + inspired-3

I used to think I didn’t really like lemonade – until I made it last summer for the first time with actual lemons. I should have started making the real stuff a long time ago, because now I’m completely hooked. There’s simply no substitute for the crisp, tart and sweet flavor of real, homemade lemonade.

Keep reading!

DIY Citrus Salt Scrub

DIY Citrus Salt Scrub - offbeat + inspired

I am obsessed with all things citrus. Whether it’s as simple as putting a slice of lime in my water or involves a decadent lemon-basil coffee cake (recipe for that coming soon!), I am officially smitten. My most recent citrus creation is this super easy sea salt scrub. Homemade scrubs take about 5 minutes to make (sometimes even less) and they’re not littered with harsh chemicals or additives found in many store-bought versions. They also make great gifts – although you may want to make two batches so you can keep one for yourself.

Keep reading!

The Cafe Corner [A Small Space DIY]

The Cafe Corner [A Small Space DIY] - offbeat + inspired

Moving from a big rental house to a small third floor apartment has been a bit of an adjustment. In a really good way! For starters, it dawned on me that although I’ve been patting myself on the back for the last 5 years on how responsibly I’ve avoided all manner of hoarding…I am, in fact, a hoarder. With all the extra space in our house rental, I didn’t even realize how much useless STUFF I had been hauling with me. Stuff I wouldn’t even know existed until it was time to move again, and I’d think,  ’Awww, someday I’m gonna want that!’ Girl, no. Someday you’re gonna admit that a tattered cardboard box is the only love that thing will ever see. Basically, this little apartment has helped me master the art of tossing boxes without opening them. A major space saver.

Keep reading!

Banana-Rum Scones

Banana-Rum Scones - offbeat + inspired-5

Years ago over one of my winter breaks in college, my mom and I spent a week together in New Hampshire. While some of my friends traveled to warmer climates, I opted for snowy mountains. I had the chance to snowboard, my mom and I snowshoed and we soaked in the beauty of the outdoors. To top it all off, we made sure to enjoy incredible food.

While wandering around the local area, we came across a quaint little bakery selling freshly baked muffins, scones and other pastries. The scones they had there remain the best ones I have ever tasted in my life. Maybe it was the beautiful evergreen trees layered with sparkling flakes and the blanket of crunching snow under my feet that made a warm scone and a cup of coffee taste so amazing. Or maybe those flaky, buttery treats were special because they were a culinary discovery I shared with my mom. Whatever it was, that experience turned me into a scone lover.

Keep reading!

Clean Eating | Broiled Grapefruit with Yogurt + Cinnamon

Broiled Grapefruit with Yogurt + Cinnamon - offbeat + inspired-9

I don’t mind the cold and snow during the beginning of winter, but around this time of year I start to get antsy. My love for cuddling up with comfort food in front of the fireplace gives way to a desire to eat on a restaurant patio, run along the riverfront path or head over to the neighbor’s for drinks and laughs around their fire pit.

Keep reading!

Outfitted | Ruthie Lindsey

outfitted | Ruthie Lindsey - offbeat + inspired

“Outfitted” is a new series focusing on fashion and style. For each Outfitted post, I’ll be featuring someone I find utterly inspiring. It isn’t just clothing that stands out to me when it comes to personal style, it’s how garments, makeup, footwear, accessories and the like can be curated with careful and thoughtful intention, and then put together to express something deeper about the wearer. What’s communicated is what draws me in. This series will document that. I’m thrilled to devote the inaugural Outfitted post to my dear friend, Ruthie Lindsey of Ruthie Lindsey Design.

Ruthie’s style is relaxed, earthy and “free”. I adore her use of neutrals with unexpected pops of color and texture. She mixes vintage, one-of-a-kind items with solid basics from favorite brands. I love her ability to gather simple pieces and pair them in unexpected ways to create sweet and cohesive looks. There’s surprising beauty and so much to explore within simplicity. New life can be given to old things. Ruthie communicates this sense of freedom, renewal and adventure clearly from head to toe, and I love it!

Keep reading!

DIY Rustic “Table” Photography Background

DIY Rustic “Table” Photography Background Pistachios 1 - offbeat + inspired

As I’ve been perusing the works of some of my favorite food photographers, one element I’m drawn to is the backdrop. I absolutely love the look of food composed on a rustic farm table. The natural look enhances homey, comfort recipes, contrasts formal dishes to make them really pop and showcases the beauty of simple ingredients.

I haven’t yet found my dream barn wood table that perfectly complements the recipes I’m working on (I know it’s out there somewhere!). Even if I did have that perfect table, the best natural light in my house comes from a particular spot near my family room window. It’s not at all a convenient place to store a table and I’d hate to have to move large furniture to that area every time I want to shoot.

Keep reading!

Maple, Banana + Pecan Muffins

Maple, Banana + Pecan Muffins 7 - offbeat + inspired

I’ve mentioned before that I typically don’t bake very often, but lately the tables have turned. This holiday season has stirred up for me a new love for creating fresh breads (some which morphed into this), cookies, scones, cakes and now muffins.

Keep reading!

Lexington Love | A Christmas Shop

Lexington Love | A Christmas Shop - offbeat + inspired

Lexington never ceases to amaze me with the creativity and inspiration it introduces me to week after week. I recently had the pleasure of visiting Joseph and Shannon Hillenmeyer at their Christmas Shop. As I’m not sure where to begin with my rave about these people and this place, I’ll just tell the story of how I experienced it all for the first time.

Keep reading!

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.

Keep reading!