Lemon-Basil Whole Wheat Coffee Cake

Lemon + Basil Whole Wheat Coffee Cake-3

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Luckily, many breakfast foods are basically cake. Ergo, the most important meal of the day is cake. Flawless logic, right? I’m not quite sure how muffins, pancakes and coffee cake made the cut when it came to deciding which foods were socially acceptable to eat first thing in the morning, but hey, I’m not arguing.

This Lemon-Basil Whole Wheat Coffee Cake has all the fixings of a decadent treat, but you can get away with enjoying it any time of day. It’s topped with buttery, sugary crumbles and has a layer of creamy and tart lemon curd. Fresh basil and lemon zest give it a bright pop of flavor that’s perfect for the summer months. It’s also made with whole wheat flour and Greek yogurt, so you can feel even better about eating cake for breakfast.

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Nashville Trip With Free People + A Magical Backyard Dinner

Nashville Trip With Free People + A Magical Backyard Dinner - offbeat + inspired

So I went to Nashville again! There was a #FPme shoot with Free People, a backyard dinner at my sweet friend Ruthie‘s, and of course, lots of catching up, laughing, dancing, friend-making and photographing — basically the norm on my Tennessee adventures! If you haven’t heard of #FPme, it’s Free People‘s own little social hub where girls from all over the world can upload style pics of themselves, tag the outfits with whatever FP goodies they have on and share it in their gallery. (Here’s a link to mine.) It’s great for outfit inspiration and I love that you can click a photo and it brings you directly to the item listing (because, you know…anything to fill that cart as fast as humanly possible). You can also search the hashtag on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to find all kinds of boho style ideas. (I’ve been posting a ton on my Instagram lately!) Anyway! Free People was heading to Nashville and reached out to a few local #FPme contributors about doing a shoot downtown. I’m clearly not a Nashville local, but Dee, the darling gal I’ve been in contact with about FP styling, knew Lexington was nearby and asked if I’d join in for the day. Um, that’s a huge yes! Ruthie had told me Free People was coming down for a dinner at her place, so I was already attending that which made hopping in on the #FPme shoot even more of a no brainer.

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Japanese Method Iced Coffee

Japanese Method Iced Coffee

Summer is officially here! That calls for fresh farmers’ market produce, backyard barbecues and, of course, cold drinks. I’ve shared before how to make smooth, full-flavored, cold-brew coffee for drinks like a caramel iced latte or coffee cocktail. While I love that method, it takes about 8-12 hours for the coffee to steep - and let’s face it…sometimes a craving for iced coffee hits when you don’t want to wait that long.

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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.

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Mango Two Ways [and a giveaway with Whole Foods!]

Mango 2 ways main image 3

Happy Monday! Tiffany and I are so excited about today’s post! We’ve teamed up with Whole Foods to bring you two delicious mango recipes - one savory, one sweet.

Mango has quickly become one of my favorite warm weather ingredients. It’s incredibly versatile and works well in everything from smoothies to cocktails to the recipes we’re sharing today. Nothing says summer like the flavor of mango - and Mango + Shrimp Skewers and Mango, Rosemary + Ginger Shortbread Cookies are the perfect way to kick off the season.

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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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A Giveaway (actually 2!) With Katie Dean Jewelry

 

I’ve been overdosing on Instagram lately. Seriously. Just when I start to wonder if it’s gone to unhealthy extremes, I stumble across a beautiful feed that turns into a new kindred-spirit sister-friend and all my faith in Instagramming as a permanent (necessary) fixture in life is renewed. I met Katie Dean of Katie Dean Jewelry this way only a few short months ago. She left some lovely comments on my pictures, and when I browsed her feed and checked out her shop, I fell in love. She’s sweet as can be, stunningly gorgeous, uber talented and stylish, and has made quite a name for herself in the jewelry world. Her pieces have been worn by all kinds of celebrities and have popped up in shows like Parenthood and Glee! [I passed out a little when I saw them in Parenthood. Tad bit obsessed with that show.] Basically, GO GIRL!!

Katie’s style is such a perfect mix of bold and understated. She creates adorable, on-trend statement pieces as well as chic, delicate basics that you’ll want to live in. I’ve completely fallen for the Wrap Arrow Mid-Ring and the Light As A Feather Earrings as dailies, and when I want to go more playful or edgy, the Wise Warrior Necklace and the Forever & Always Bracelets have become true favorites. [All pictured in this post!]

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Coffee Cake Donuts

Coffee Cake Donuts - offbeat + inspired

My trips down memory lane frequently take me to the Jersey shore. I shared a recipe for Spiced Rum Banana Ice Cream last year that highlighted a lot of the nostalgia I experience whilst daydreaming of East Coast summers past, and the Coffee Cake Donuts I’m sharing today are thusly inspired.

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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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