Cranberry-Orange Shortbread Cookies

Cranberry-Orange Shortbread Cookies-6

Ever cook something for the first time and then wonder, “Why in the world haven’t I been making this all along!?” That’s how I feel about shortbread. For some reason, I’ve never made shortbread cookies until this year - but now, I’m completely hooked. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve quickly baked (and eaten) enough of these buttery, sweet, crumbly cookies to make up for all the years they’ve been missing from my kitchen.

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Cardamom + Vanilla Coffee Cocktail

Cardamom + Vanilla Coffee Cocktail

The weekend has officially arrived, which means it’s time to kick back, relax and shake up a cocktail. Cardamom and vanilla are two of my absolute favorite spices - and luckily, those flavors pair incredibly well with my most beloved beverage - coffee.

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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.

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Spiced Bourbon Coffee

Spiced Bourbon Coffee - offbeat + inspired-6

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” 
-Edith Sitwell

In the fall when temperatures start to drop, I find myself looking forward to winter. There’s something romantic, serene and comforting about the season that forces me into hibernation. Outdoor activities give way to quiet evenings at home, and lively summer barbecues turn to intimate dinners. The first few snowfalls cover everything with a brilliant white blanket, and holiday festivities help me avoid the impending cabin fever.

Eventually, the enjoyment of winter fades away and is replaced by an eager anticipation of spring. It’s this time of year that I’m weary of the cold. The occasional sunlight teases as it warms me through my kitchen window - spring must be coming! And then I walk outside, only to turn back in my house to don a few more layers of clothing.

When everything in me craves the warmer season to come, it’s easy to forget the joys of winter. This year, however, I’m trying to be more intentional, taking advantage of what this season has to offer. Spring will come. But meanwhile, there’s still time for admiring snow-laden trees, bundling up under a cozy blanket and quietly sipping on Spiced Bourbon Coffee by the fire.

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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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Furniture Upcycle with Chalk Paint® Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan

Furniture Upcycle with Chalk Paint Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan - top half of cabinet - offbeat + inspired

This is a sponsored post brought to you by Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan. All opinions are 100% my own. In other words, I really do love this product!

Remember when I told you about the side-of-the-road furniture I have piling up in my garage? Well, I’m excited to announce that one more of those pieces has officially made it out of the garage and into the house.

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DIY Upcycled Deck Furniture + Accessories

I used to be afraid of color, but in the last few years something changed in my decor style and the pendulum has swung the other direction. Now, I’m obsessed with vivid, bold colors (probably a bit too much). When my husband and I moved into our house last year, we became the very grateful recipients of some hand-me-down outdoor furniture. The chairs are really comfortable and the table is the perfect size for our deck, but the old hunter green and tan dining set needed a little facelift.

Deck Upcycle - offbeat + inspiredDIY Upcycled Deck Furniture - After

Before I chose any paint colors, I searched long and hard for an outdoor pillow that would be summery, bright and maybe even a little out of my color comfort zone (I know I’m living on the edge here). I knew I wanted comfortable pillows for the chairs and hoped that the right pattern would be my inspiration for the rest of the deck. I landed on these Warm Venice Paisley Outdoor Throw Pillows from World Market and I love them! They were the perfect pattern that would allow me to incorporate nearly any crazy color I wanted into my deck project. I snagged a few of those paisley pillows and added a couple of these Warm Chevron Outdoor Lumbar Pillows to the mix. (The “runner up pillow” for my deck inspiration was this Laurel 20″ Square Outdoor Pillow from Crate and Barrel.)

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Orange + Tea Tree Soap

Orange Tea Tree Soap 3

I have a hard time staying focused on one hobby at a time. I love dabbling in about 10 projects at once. I currently have soap curing, pallets in the garage waiting to become furniture, spray paint on hand for finishing my deck upcycle, and random ingredients (like Himalayan pink salt) in my pantry waiting to be featured in recipes I have yet to create.

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DIY Upcycled Side Table + Planter

DIY Upcycled Side Table + Planter - offbeat + inspired

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I wanted to start upcycling my deck furniture and accessories. While procrastinating, I secretly hoped the upcycle genie would come in the middle of the night and redo everything for me. Alas, no such magic occurred, so I finally went to work cleaning, sanding, priming, painting and staining.

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Orange-Cinnamon Iced Tea

I’ve been planning a big patio furniture upcycle reveal. I was hoping to have part one of that project completed to share with you this week but, well…I opted to relax with a glass of iced tea instead. It’s been about 80 degrees and sunny all week in the Chicago area and the summery weather has just been begging me to enjoy it while drinking a cold beverage.

Orange Cinnamon Iced Tea

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