Coffee-Maple Candied Bacon

Coffee-Maple Candied Bacon - offbeat + inspired-5

What’s better than bacon? Candied bacon with rich, earthy flavors of coffee, sweet maple syrup, caramelized sugar and spicy black pepper.

This recipe is dangerously easy to make, with only a few ingredients: bacon, freshly roasted coffee (I like using a full-bodied, dark roast such as FreshGround’s Sumatra Aceh), sugar, maple syrup and a touch of black pepper. Word of advice? Make this in small batches - or at least have friends over to share the results with. Otherwise before you know it, you’ll have consumed a shameful amount of bacon all by yourself. (Yup, I’m speaking from personal experience.)

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Lexington Love | Adventuring With Ruthie

Lexington Love | Adventuring With Ruthie - offbeat + inspired

This is the most exciting time of year for me. Especially this year. I’m settled in to the downtown apartment — a gorgeous, old 3-story building on North Limestone. Our little nook is on the third floor above Le Deauville French Bistro, across the street from a blooming school courtyard. The city is popping with color now, which means it’s time to break out the list of springtime shenanigans and start hacking away. One of them was to have my dear friend Ruthie Lindsey come up from Nashville for a visit! If you follow me on Instagram, you know how much I love this girl. Goofing, laughing, heart-to-hearts, dance parties, music listening and exploring — all part of the typical, wonderful craziness.

When she pulled into town, we only had a vague idea of what the next 3 days were going to look like, but knew we were going to spend one of them shooting everything we possibly could. Ruthie’s personal style is just one of the hugely inspiring things about her, so we decided to show a few of her favorite looks in a few of my favorite Lexington locales. The rest of this post will serve as a photo journal of that day with outfit and location credits. I just love showing off this little city, especially alongside one of my favorite gals!

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Repainted Storage Console + Annie Sloan Brush Review

Repainted Storage Console + Annie Sloan Brush Review - offbeat + inspired

My obsession with garage sale shopping began about two years ago when my husband and I moved into our house. We previously lived in a one-bedroom apartment and didn’t own much furniture, so I had to get creative in order to decorate on a budget. I’ve enjoyed most of this process – searching out vintage shops, finding unique pieces that cost next to nothing and turning “junk” into something beautiful. The downside, however, comes when I have a decorating vision but can’t (immediately) find a wallet-friendly way to carry it out.

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Loving Libby Story [and a Giveaway!]

Loving The Libby Story Shop [and a Giveaway!] - offbeat + inspired

Spring and summer. Every time these two roll around, I swear they’re my favorite. Flowers, ice cream trucks, baseball, picnics, hiking, road trips with open windows, reviving my 90’s alternative mix CD’s (not sure why, but *always* at this time of year) — love. Dressing for all that adventure is half the magic. I’ve been collecting lots of flowery skirts and airy tops lately, mix-matching and layering while the weather stabilizes. Over the last few months, as I’ve been feeding my Instagram obsession with my springtime obsession, I’ve had the pleasure of becoming friends with the adorable team over at Libby Story.

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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.

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Coffee + Cardamom Zeppole

Coffee + Cardamom Zeppole - offbeat + inspired-4

In an effort to expand my cooking repertoire, I’ve been experimenting with new dishes, techniques and recipes. I don’t often make desserts, so I figured that would be a great (and tasty) area in which to step up my culinary game. The latest sweet treat? Italian fried doughnuts, also called zeppole. Yup - deep-fried, buttery, sweet dough covered in sugar. What’s not to love?

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